Alen Halilovic disappointed with lack of opportunities during Hamburg stint

Former Barcelona youngster Alen Halilovic says he was disappointed at the lack of opportunities given to make an impression with Hamburg in the Bundesliga after joining them last summer.

Halilovic, who impressed last season with Sporting Gijon, left Barca for the German side in a deal worth €5 million, but he made just one start before being sent on an 18-month loan to Las Palmas in January.

The Canary Island club have also taken on Barca's option to buy the Croatian international, although it's not been clarified if that will be for the same €10-million price the Catalan club had agreed with Hamburg in the event they wanted to bring him back to Camp Nou.

For now, though, Halilovic is just happy to be playing regularly football again after a difficult six months in Germany.

"I can't tell that because I didn't play too much," he told reporters including ESPN FC when asked if his style was better suited to the Spanish league.

"I mean, if I play 10 or 15 games maybe as a starter I can tell if maybe it's better for me. But I only played one match as a starter in Hamburg, but I prefer [La Liga], I think it's good for me.

"Especially this team because we are playing good football. But I am always a fan of Hamburg and I hope they stay up."

Hamburg's irregular start to the campaign led to a change of manager, with Markus Gisdol replacing Bruno Labbadia in September, as the club braced themselves for a relegation battle.

Those circumstances conspired against Halilovic, an attacking player who saw himself surplus to requirements in a team playing defensive football.

"No, they [Hamburg] didn't explain to me [why I didn't get many chances]," he said of his time out of the team.

"But I think because different mentality. They didn't think as I think, the style of football, what I want and what they want and that's a problem when coach think one thing and when player think other thing.

"I think if I get chance there I don't know if I play good or bad, but I think one game is not a chance. They promised that they would give me a chance, that I am a project, but I am a young player, I am only 20 years old.

"I mean I choose Hamburg; I was very happy when I came there but we start the season bad, we lost a lot of games and it was bad for the team and after they changed mentality, we defend more, we don't play football, we don't make chances and I think for player as I can be it was a struggle."

However, Halilovic wouldn't rule out a return to his parent club in the future -- or to Barcelona, who sources have told ESPN FC continue to monitor his progress -- despite being happy and focused to be part of Quique Setien's attacking Las Palmas side.

"I have another year here," he added having already made eight league appearances for his new club.

"I am here half a year and then all next year. We will see after, but I think now only about Las Palmas. I feel very comfortable here and I hope I will stay here."