When Pierluigi Gollini came to the club, MOMS was surprised that the then Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo was staking a promotion season on a 21-year-old inexperienced keeper, who hadn’t actually played one senior game in the English league.
As this site said before a ball of this season was kicked, it was too much of a gamble and this season wasn’t a time to be learning on the job.
As it turned out, Gollini gave away too many cheap points which ultimately cost Di Matteo his job.
The Italian youngster has now signed on a 18-month loan deal with Italian Serie A club Atalanta after they lost their original keeper Marco Sportiello to Fiorentina for a similiar loan period.
“Late last night we agreed a deal,” said Steve Bruce, during his pre-Wolves press duties.
“It was one of those ones that was done in a couple of hours I think.”
Of course, Bruce sent out a clear signal to Gollini that his performances hadn’t been up to scratch, when first of all he dropped him for Mark Bunn and then brought in Sam Johnstone on loan from Manchester United.
“I think it’s fair to say, once I’d left him out of the team and once we’d brought in a new goalkeeper, then what was the next step for Pier?” Reflected Bruce.
“For me he needs to go and play and learn his trade. I think it was a little bit too early for Pier, at this stage of his career, to come to Villa.”
It’ll be interesting to see how it pans out for Gollini. The fact that he’s gone back to Italy isn’t exactly the ideal preparation in terms of him being Villa’s future number one keeper, as experience of the English league would have been more valuable in that respect.
It’s an opinion that Bruce seems to agree with.
“Ideally I’d have liked it to have been in this country,” said Bruce of Gollini’s destination. “However, we wish him the best of luck and we’ll keep monitoring his progress.
“It’s a good thing for everybody that he’s back playing again.”
If Sam Johnstone turns out to prove himself and Villa can reach a long-term deal with him at the end of the season, then it maybe very much a case of ‘Ciao Gollini’, with his prospects of returning to Villa Park slim at best.
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