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Gollini joined Villa despite Juventus interest

The Birmingham Mail sat down with Villa’s new goalkeeper, Pierluigi Gollini, who revealed he chose Villa over the Italian super-club.

Italy U21 Training Session And Press Conference
Pierluigi Gollini, goalkeeper of Italy U21, looks on during a training session at Stadio Comunale on May 30, 2016 in Mestre, Italy.
Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images

After dealing with Brad Guzan’s sudden turn from one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League to one of the worst over the last two seasons, Aston Villa have a new man in net: Pierluigi Gollini.

And in a move reminiscent of Jores Okore’s move to Villa a few seasons ago, Gollini says he turned down interest from Italian giants Juventus to join Villa, according to the Birmingham Mail.

Gollini’s quoted talking about Villa’s interest as being “much more solid” than Juve’s and said in the interview, “When someone really wants you and they think you have great potential, it means they believe in you and this is important.”

For anyone still uneasy about Villa’s move for the 21-year-old keeper, hopefully beating out Juventus for him will ease those tensions a little bit.

Of course, the last time we heard this type of line was from Okore, who declined a move to Chelsea to join the Claret and Blues instead, and that whole thing hasn’t gone particularly well. He got hurt early in his maiden season, but rebounded well, returning to form a good centre back partnership with Ciaran Clark during the 2014/15 season.

Unfortunately, the powers that were at Villa Park decided the two of them weren’t good enough, bought Joleon Lescott and Micah Richards to replace them and torpedoed the club’s immediate future. Nice one, guys.

To get back on subject, Gollini’s quotes seem to confirm the assumption that the Villa No. 1 job is his to lose, just as it should be. If Villa have shelled out £4.1 million for him, he should be good enough to go from the club from day one, and unlike Okore, Gollini shouldn’t have to worry too much about getting blocked at his position. Unlike centre back, where managers will often tinker to find the perfect pair, there’s just one goalkeeper. It’s the most stable position on the pitch in football — think of how many guys go 10+ years as the No. 1 at the same club — and getting him locked down for a little while should be fantastic for both club and player.

And obviously, Gollini still seems to be interested at the prospect of playing for Juventus one day which, quite frankly, would be fantastic to see. Because it would’ve meant Gollini did one hell of a job along the way at Villa Park.