While Aston Villa have found their undisputed number one goalkeeper in Emiliano Martinez, the Argentine may not have been the man in between the sticks at Villa Park had another talented shot-stopper not been sold by the club.
Pierluigi Gollini signed for Villa back in the summer of 2016 when Roberto Di Matteo was in charge, and the then-Villa boss made it clear that they had made a major statement of intent with his signing.
Di Matteo insisted: “We have managed to sign him despite the fact he was being chased by a number of top sides and that is a great sign. He’s a young man but has plenty of experience and I’m sure he’ll prove to be an excellent signing for the club.”
However, things didn’t quite work out the way that he or the club would have wanted.
Since then, the Italian has transformed his career, becoming first-choice shot-stopper at Atalanta and being a part of the side which got to the Champions League quarter-finals a couple of seasons ago.
Gollini’s name cropped up in the summer transfer window after Spurs signed him as competition for Hugo Lloris, and with the Frenchman entering the twilight years of his career, there’s every chance that the former Villa man could overtake him in goal.
According to Transfermarkt, his market value has shot up to £15.3m, more than quadruple what the Midlands club sold him for three years ago.
While Martinez has firmly established himself as the main man in goals for Villa, Gollini could perhaps have had that role in Dean Smith’s side, and of course for the fraction of the £20m for which they ended up signing the Argentine.
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