Signed to be first-team regular in 2016, is Pierluigi Gollini's Aston Villa career over already?

Manager of Aston Villa Steve Bruce during the pre season friendly match between Aston Villa and Watford  at Villa Park on July 29, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

Pierluigi Gollini was loaned out to Serie A side Atalanta by Steve Bruce but is due to return to Aston Villa in the summer.

Pierluigi Gollini of Aston Villa gestures during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Aston Villa at Amex Stadium on November 18, 2016 in Brighton, England.

Aston Villa have a fair amount of deadwood they need to clear out this summer. The likes of Carles Gil and Aaron Tshibola appear to have no future at Villa Park and the same too could be said for Pierluigi Gollini.

It seems a long time since Villa signed the then-21-year-old goalkeeper from Hellas Verona but, just two seasons into his four-year deal, seems certain to be on his way out come the end of the season.

Gollini struggled to adapt to the physicality of English football and, when Steve Bruce replaced Roberto di Matteo in October 2016, the youngster quickly lost his place.

Roberto Di Matteo, manager of Aston Villa looks on before the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Brentford at Villa Park on September 13, 2016 in Birmingham, England.

That following January, a shot-stopper once tipped to replace Gianluigi Buffon for Juventus and Italy retuned to Serie A in an 18-month loan spell at Atalanta in the hope that he would find first-team football easier to come by.

It is fair to say that plan has not exactly gone to fruition, however. With Albanian international Etrit Berisha firmly established as Gian Piero Gasperini’s number one, Gollini has been restricted to just nine Serie A starts for the club in the last 14 months.

Pierluigi Gollini (R) goalkeeper of Atalanta BC saves to Perparim Hetemaj of AC Chievo Verona  during the Serie A match between AC Chievo Verona and Atalanta BC at Stadio Marc'Antonio...

It appears unlikely that Atalanta would want to make his loan move permanent – or that he has much of a chance to stake his claim at Villa Park.

After all, Villa are hoping to make Sam Johnstone’s loan from Manchester United permanent while, according to The Mirror, they have also sent scouts to watch the experienced Feyenoord ‘keeper Brad Jones.

And that is without mentioning Viktor Johanssen and Matija Sarkic, the young duo tipped to be future first-team stars in Villa colours.

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