Pelle’s dad: Without van Gaal he’d have been a carpenter

The father of Southampton and Italy striker Graziano Pelle has stressed Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal's role in his development.

Graziano Pelle's career is going from strength to strength, but the player's father has spoken of how much he owes his success to current Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal. 

Pelle has made a superb start to life at Southampton since joining from Feyenoord for £8 million and earned a call-up for Italy, which saw him score the only goal against Malta.

It now seems that Pelle's decision to leave his homeland for the Netherlands in 2007 when he signed for AZ Alkmaar and worked under van Gaal was inspired.

"It was so sad when Graziano left for Holland and began his adventure abroad because I understood that his future lay far from Italy," Pelle's mother Doriana told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Pelle was prolific in Holland for Feyenoord both during a loan spell in 2012-13 when he scored 27 in 29 games and last season with 23 goals in 28 outings.

"It's not that Graziano bloomed late, rather someone in Italy finally noticed that he had scored 64 goals in the Netherlands!" father Roberto said.

"Van Gaal was his guru as well as Ronald Koeman. Without him maybe by now my son would be a carpenter or a coffee sales rep, doing the deliveries with me."

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