Back in 2019, Tottenham-bound goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini revealed how his move to Manchester United helped him develop, and how he reacted when he first met Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs.
The 26-year-old is on the verge of moving to North London from Atalanta on an initial loan deal with an option to buy.
Spurs could make the player’s move permanent at the end of the season for €13 plus €2m in bonuses or extend his loan move by paying €2m.
Gollini has already played in England with Manchester United and Aston Villa. However, he never made his senior debut with the Red Devils, playing just with the U19 and U23 teams.
He moved to Old Trafford from Fiorentina in 2012.
In an interview released with Cronache di Spogliatoio in 2019, Gollini revealed how important it was for his development to play for a few years outside Italy.
“I am open-minded and I am happy to live new experiences,” Gollini said.
“I lived in Florence with my parents before moving to Manchester, where I lived with people from different countries. That’s how you learn to relate to others and feel at ease with everyone.”
Gollini spent two years at Old Trafford before moving to Hellas Verona.
“My parents called me one day, telling me we would have dinner together. At some point, my dad showed me a Manchester United business card and I understood. He had spent the previous months asking me what I thought about moving abroad.
“Manchester United’s first-team players have lunch with the U18 squad,” he continued.
“When I arrived for the first time, Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs came to shake my hand and I was so thrilled. One year before I was sitting on the couch watching them play on TV with my father.”