He’s been hailed as the ‘new Gigi Buffon’ in the past, and Mattia Perin has certainly lived up to such a lofty comparison so far this season.
The 21-year-old Genoa goalkeeper has enjoyed a sensational start to the campaign for the Grifone, a major reason the club have lost just once in Serie A thus far.
Perin has posted two clean sheets via a league-leading 21 saves to date, six more than his closest competitor in fellow Italy youth international Nicola Leali of Cesena.
His fine form has led the return of links with some of Italy’s top sides, particularly AC Milan, the youngster having drawn the attention of Europe’s elite early last year.
Arsenal and Barcelona were listed as two of Perin’s suitors by his agent Matteo Roggi in March 2013, when the Latina-born shot-stopper was on loan at Pescara.
But a desire to return to parent club Genoa and a €20 million price-tag ultimately kept Perin in Italy, where he remains at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
And Roggi has now spoken of Perin’s development in the Italian port city, praising his exploits in the early part of the current campaign.
He to Gianlucadimarzio.com: “Mattia Perin is a rare talent. He’s a kid that always trains in the best possible way because he wants to maintain the high level he has reached.
“Now people expect a lot from him, he’s always expected to make a great performance, he works hard to keep playing well."
“He knows that every target is reached step by step, day after day, with balance.”
Roggi also commented on rumours that Milan could move for the 20-year-old over the summer, saying that it will be difficult for any club to pry him away from Genoa.
“It’s obvious that there might have been an interest considering his talent and his quality, but he’s expensive and it’s not easy to acquire him. He’s very comfortable in Genoa.”
It’s highly unlikely that Arsenal will be back in for Perin any time soon, boasting Wojciech Szczesny and summer signing David Ospina between the pipes.
The same goes for Barcelona, who can count on duo Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Claudio Bravo – both brought in following the departure of long-time custodian Victor Valdes.
But with Perin playing at a high level, having popped up on the radar of Europe’s elite sides as a teenager, it seems only a matter of time before a step up to a bigger club materialises.
If Perin can maintain his current form the list of interested parties is bound to be extensive come next summer, at which time his resolve to stay at Genoa may well be put to the test.