Giorgio Chiellini has opened up about his admiration for Serie A rival Diego Godin, describing the reported Tottenham Hotspur target as a ‘charismatic’ presence and a natural-born leader.
While it is fair to say the experienced Uruguayan has not exactly set the world alight since moving to Inter Milan last summer, struggling to adapt to Antonio Conte’s famed three-man back line, absolutely no one is writing off Godin just yet.
He may be 34 now, but a man who played a major role in Atletico Madrid’s transformation from perennial underachievers to bona fide European powerhouses still has plenty left to offer.
Jose Mourinho knows that too.
With his Tottenham side looking worryingly vulnerable at the heart of a once-unbreachable back line, The Mirror (15 April, page 49) suggests that Godin could be rescued from his San Siro nightmare. What’s more, one of the finest defensive talents of the 21st century could be available for as little as £7 million.
Talk about a bargain.
And Chiellini, the eight-time Scudetto winner who shares Godin’s blood-and-thunder, old-school style, believes that a difficult spell in Italy should not count against a two-time Champions League finalist.
“I like to study my opponents; the attackers but also the defenders – including the Uruguayan Godin,” the Juventus legend said in his new autobiography, serialised by Calciomercato. “Someone who Antonio Conte brought to Inter and not by chance.
“If you ask me who in the world lives the matches and the profession in my own style, I would say Godin. He is like me.
“Even if we are different in our characteristics, we are both charismatic and we know how to lead the team. If I name another Chiellini, I would say him.”
That is glowing praise from one of the most successful and talented centre-backs of a generation.
Godin would hardly be a long-term addition to Mourinho’s Tottenham squad but, if they want a player who can come in and make an immediate impact on and off the pitch, there are not many better options out there.