The former Real Sociedad man played 62 minutes in the 2-2 draw with Villarreal and conceded that he still has some way to go to get back to full match fitness.
“I haven’t played for a while and it was clear I’m lacking that spark, but I’ll gain the rhythm of the training sessions and the matches,” he told reporters.
“I’m very happy to make my debut and excited about the rest of the season.”
Illarramendi then went on to praise goalscorer Gareth Bale and last night’s opponents.
“He is a great player and important for us. He scored on his debut and showed how good he is.
“We played against a good team and they showed that today. They played well and it was hard for us to get into the match. They didn’t give us much time, the pressed us a lot in attack and in midfield."
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