Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti. Whether they can convince the youngster to join them or the player himself wants to leave PSG is open to debate, but if they do get him, then they will be recruiting a very, very humble player.
The 21-year-old has long been suggested as the star of Italy and the man who would take over his compatriot Andrea Pirlo as the best deep-lying playmaker in the world. His performances for Pescara in 2011-12 saw his fame spread across Europe, and PSG swooped in and signed him under the noses of Italian champions Juventus.
In France, Verratti has gone from strength to strength, first under Carlo Ancelotti and then under Laurent Blanc. The Italy international has yet to take the Champions League by storm, but in France he has established himself as one of the best players – a testimony to that is the fact that last week he won the Best Young Player in Ligue 1 award.
Verratti is Pirlo’s long-term successor in the Italy team and will get a chance to show what he can do this summer when he features for his country at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil. He has been included by coach Cesare Prandelli in his 30-man preliminary squad and it is unlikely that Verratti will be left out of the final 23-man party.
Despite all the success that he has achieved in his short career, Verratti has remained humble and has not allowed his accomplishments to get to his head. Not everyone gets to be compared to World Cup and Champions League winner Pirlo, but the 21-year-old insists that he is nowhere near the Juventus star’s level.
‘I play in a different position now, further forward, but it takes time to reach his level’, he told Tuttosport. ‘The thing I have in common with Pirlo is that we try never to give the ball away. I’d like to learn from him the ability to know what he’s going to do ahead of time’.
Not many young players have the humility that Verratti has shown. If Arsenal do indeed make a full-on attempt to sign the starlet from PSG in the summer, then they can do so safe in the knowledge that they will get a player who is mature enough to know that he has a lot to learn.