Aston Villa owner Dr Tony Xia says new signing Pierluigi Gollini has the ability to emulate Italian goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon and backs him to become one of the world’s best, The Sun reports.
Villa have bolstered their defensive ranks this summer with the additions of Tommy Elphick from Bournemouth and Gollini from Hellas Verona, the latter joining for £4.5 million (The Sun).
Gollini is highly-rated back in Italy and was once on the books of Manchester United before returning to his homeland in 2014 with then Serie A side Verona.
Capped four times at U19 level, Gollini seemingly has a bright future ahead of him and if Villa owner Xia correctly predicts, the 21-year-old could even become of the best number ones in the world.
“The club finally signed the talented Italian goalkeeper despite the fact he was being chased by a big club in Serie A and a few other clubs,” Xia said, quoted by The Sun.
“Gollini will be one of the best goalkeepers in the world and has the ability to emulate Buffon in the future. He will be one of the key players in Aston Villa’s defensive line with Tommy Elphick.”
In the short-term Gollini will provide competition for the number one spot with Brad Guzan, while in the long run Xia will be hoping he becomes a standout shot-stopper in the Premier League.
The new Villa owner has spoken of his desire to help Villa become a top club again, though he may wish to avoid falling into the same trap as Leeds United’s Massimo Cellino and underestimating the job in hand.