Pierluigi Gollini has been today linked with a return to Aston Villa in the Italian press – but why would he come back?
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Times are odd right now, but that has not stopped transfer links continuing as fans wait for the resumption or voiding of the Premier League season.
The latest link brings a familiar face onto the agenda, in the form of Atalanta goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini, who made 20 appearances for Aston Villa before returning to Italy on loan – to the club he is currently at.
Originally signed by Roberto Di Matteo, Gollini looked like he had the potential to continue to improve at Villa Park, before the arrival of Steve Bruce saw Sam Johnstone follow shortly after on loan and Gollini’s eventual exit.
There were murmurs that Gollini was unhappy following the exit of Di Matteo and the eventual exit of goalkeeping coach Massimo Battara as the goalkeeper had stipulated to his agent that there must be an Italian goalkeeping coach at the club – to ensure he could make the most of his development – and once Battara had left, then Gollini felt increasingly isolated.
His first few years at Atalanta, especially on loan – offered nothing for the Italian ‘keeper and appearances were limited.
Of late though, he is now considered one of the best goalkeepers in the Serie A and is battling Gianluigi Donnarumma for the Italy National Team number one shirt.
Gollini is Atalanta’s number one, and has performed on numerous occasions this season in both the Serie A and the Champions League.
La Gazzetta dello Sport are reporting that there are three clubs interested in the 25-year-old stopper – Aston Villa, Tottenham Hotspur and Milan – which raises a few interesting points.
In regards to Milan, they have the hottest prospect in terms of goalkeepers in the world in Donnarumma – which would mean Gollini would be back to playing second fiddle. For Aston Villa, there is already a plethora of goalkeeping talent at the club and the argument that there’s the possibility of bad blood.
The most obvious choice would be Tottenham Hotspur, with Mourinho reportedly a fan of the ‘keeper and searching for the eventual replacement to the ageing Hugo Lloris.
It would have been nice to see Gollini come full circle and be the success he was initially expected to be at Aston Villa – but giving up Champions League football to do so? It doesn’t make sense.