SPANISH star Rodrigo Riquelme admitted he needed to “make a man body” to adapt to the physicality of English football – with his own future still up in the air.

The 21-year-old, on loan at Cherries from Atletico Madrid, was given his first league start under boss Jonathan Woodgate and impressed despite a 1-0 defeat at struggling Wycombe on Saturday.

Riquelme has played 18 times for Cherries in all competitions this campaign, scoring two goals.

Having also trained with Reading before joining Cherries in October, the Madrid-born youngster gave an honest assessment of his time playing in England.

Riquelme told the Daily Echo: “Of course, I am very grateful to Reading, everyone knows that – with Bournemouth as well of course.

“It’s difficult because I have to make a man body and, woah, it’s hard, it’s so physical but there are a lot of good players here in these teams.”

Asked whether playing in the Championship had toughened him up, Riquelme replied: “Of course, it’s an important thing but in the end, this is football.

“One ball, it’s 11 against 11 and it’s important – but I don’t think it’s the most important thing in football.”

Cherries have the option to make the deal permanent to sign Riquelme from Atleti in the summer.

Asked whether there was any update surrounding his future, the attacking midfielder replied: “I don’t know yet but we have to see.

“We have to choose the best option for me and we have to decide on all the options.

“I think the most important thing is me, is my performance, my job and how I feel where I am.

“My family and me are very close. We are a very close family and all these kind of things we speak about and we always choose the best option for me.”

Riquelme was deployed in the number 10 position for Cherries on Saturday, a role he felt accustomed to, having regularly occupied it during his time in Spain.

“In Atletico Madrid, a lot of times I played in that position,” he said.

“I feel very comfortable in that position, so I always try to make my best on the pitch and of course, I have to answer to the opportunities the gaffer gives to me.

“Because this is football. He made a lot of changes but we have to answer to the gaffer to win more opportunities.

“I just prefer playing! It doesn’t matter for me if I play on one side or as a 10. The most important thing for me is just to play.”

Speaking about Riquelme’s performance against the Chairboys, boss Woodgate added: “I’m really pleased for Roro. I thought he did really well, especially on a difficult pitch.

“He can play 10 and he can play out on the left.

“He’s got some fantastic ability, Roro. He’s been unlucky that he has (Arnaut) Danjuma, (David) Brooks and (Junior) Stanislas in that area of the pitch to be honest.”