Tottenham hire Gollini on loan from Atalanta

Published July 25, 2021
In this Dec 20, 2020 file photo, Atalanta goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini yells out during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Atalanta and Roma at the Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo, Italy. — AP
In this Dec 20, 2020 file photo, Atalanta goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini yells out during the Italian Serie A soccer match between Atalanta and Roma at the Gewiss Stadium in Bergamo, Italy. — AP

LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur signed goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini from Italian club Atalanta on a season-long loan with an option to make the move permanent, the Premier League team said on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Gollini will be expected to challenge stalwart Hugo Lloris. The 34-year-old Frenchman has been with Tottenham since the 2012-13 season but his contract expires next June.

“I’m here to show that I can be the future of Tottenham,” Gollini told club media. “Obviously, now I’m here with Hugo. I have huge respect for him. He’s a legend of this club. ... He’s a world champion. So for me, it’s a privilege, it’s an honour to work with him, to train with him. I’m sure I can learn a lot from him.”

Gollini, who was part of Manchester United’s youth system, played 32 games in all competitions last season for Atalanta, which finished third in Serie A.

“As a team we have to be really ambitious,” he said of his new team. “We should try to win something because it’s a big team, it’s a big club. Winning has to be the goal.”

Gollini has also played in the the second-tier Championship with Aston Villa.

He made his international debut for Italy off the bench in a European Championship qualifying match against Bosnia and Herzegovina in November 2019.

Tottenham, under new manager Nuno Espirito Santo, hosts Premier League champion Manchester City for their season opener on Aug 15.

The team’s seventh-place finish in 2020-21 means their only European involvement this season will be in the less lucrative and new third-tier Europa Conference League.

Son Heung-min signed a four-year contract extension on Friday to keep him at Tottenham through June 2025. But their other star forward, Harry Kane, is hoping to leave even though he’s under contract with the north London team until 2024.

Published in Dawn, July 25th, 2021

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