Aston Villa outcast Pierluigi Gollini excited for 2017/18 Europa League campaign

Aston Villa's Pierluigi Gollini

Pierluigi Gollini is enjoying life away from Aston Villa.

Aston Villa's Pierluigi Gollini looks dejected after Huddersfield's first goalAston Villa's Pierluigi Gollini looks dejected after Huddersfield's first goal

Aston Villa made clear just how bad a signing they felt Pierluigi Gollini was, by agreeing to loan him out for 18 months after just half a season at the club.

The Italy under-21 stopper is clearly talented, but struggled to adapt to the Championship and Steve Bruce had no desire to utilise him.

He sent him on loan to Atalanta, and Gollini has well and truly landed on his feet.

Aston Villa's Pierluigi GolliniAston Villa's Pierluigi Gollini

The unfancied Serie A side have just secured a fifth place finish, earning a Europa League spot in 2017/18.

With a game to go they are clear of both chasing Milan clubs and Fiorentina, winning 1-0 at Empoli at the weekend.

Gollini kept a clean sheet in the victory, in just his third appearance for the club since signing. He has conceded just one goal in these three matches.

Speaking to Tuttomercatoweb after the game, Gollini said: "We are pleased because we go straight to the group stage.

"We wanted to close the discussion, we won and are really happy. I came here and found a good group, in an environment that has enabled us to do something really important."

Pierluigi Gollini of Aston Villa collides with Chris Martin of Derby CountyPierluigi Gollini of Aston Villa collides with Chris Martin of Derby County

Gollini has another season at the club in which to prove himself, but it surely seems that he has played his last game for Villa.

He played 20 matches for them before being sold. Now he has the Europa League to look forward to next season, instead of toiling away in the Championship.

Deserving or not, it seems to have worked out very well for the Italian.

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