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Legendary Goalkeeper Praises Yann Sommer, Notes The Double Standard In Criticising Donnarumma And Maignan

Written By Onyeka Daniel

A team’s performance is usually linked with the goalkeeper and for Inter Milan this season, they’ve been the best team defensively and their goalkeeper, Yann Sommer has been a huge part of that, keeping a number of clean sheet, alongside his defense.

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It hasn’t been the same for AC Milan goalkeeper, Mike Maignan, who has been conceding goals for fun amidst an unstable defense that has been constantly changing due to injuries.

Former goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca claimed Gianluigi Donnarumma is unfairly criticised in comparison to Maignan and noted how m Sommer ‘surprised’ him at Inter.

Milan fans still haven’t forgiven Donnarumma after his decision to leave the club on a free transfer two years ago to join Paris Saint-Germain, continuing to boo and whistle him when he returns to San Siro with his new club or the national team.

On the other side of the city, Inter sold Andre Onana to Manchester United for over €50m in the summer and replaced him with low-cost veteran Sommer, who has immediately proven himself to be one of the top goalkeepers in Serie A. In an interview with Tuttosport, Pagliuca first named his best goalkeeper in world football currently.


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“The best in the world is Dibu Martinez, he is strong in everything and has no weaknesses. He commands the defence well, has a great character and doesn’t suffer from pressure like shown at the World Cup. “And then between the posts he is explosive, it becomes very difficult for someone to score goals against someone like that.” The former Italy international highlighted his favourite goalkeeper in Serie A this term.

“In Serie A I choose Di Gregorio. He is less publicized than many others, but he is playing an amazing season. Michele is a very serious boy and has been doing very well for some years. Monza are well done for believing in him and aiming for him, when not no one did. “He can follow the same path as Vicario. I know Falcone from Lecce well.

When he played for Cosenza, I reported him to Bologna, then Samp fired high and there was nothing to be done. I had spotted him in unsuspecting times. “Now he has grown a lot, becoming one of the best in terms of performance. He and Di Gregorio are ready for a big team. I’m not crazy about Rui Patricio. He never makes the big save but limits himself to the task. Roma could find a better one.”

He gave his thoughts on Sommer and his work at Inter. “The Swiss surprised me. I thought he would have a harder time establishing himself in Italy, but instead he always makes decisive saves. Sommer has only made one mistake so far against Sassuolo, but it can happen. In many other matches, however, he has a decisive impact.

“The Inter management was very good at selling Onana for €57m, replacing him for little money with someone who performs better and saves better. “Knowing how to build up can be an added value, but the strong goalkeeper is the one who knows it’s useless to have the feet of a midfielder if you then make mistakes between the posts and concede saveable goals.”

Pagliuca noted the double standards surrounding Donnarumma and Maignan. “The Frenchman from Milan is strong, but in recent matches he has made some mistakes. Between him and Donnarumma the critics use double standards… When Maignan makes mistakes, the ducks pass over in silence, while with Gigio I notice a preventive fury.

“Every mistake by Donnarumma is always underlined and there is a tendency to massacre him. It’s a shame that when he is decisive in a positive way like in Dortmund, where he made four decisive saves to advance to the next round in the Champions League, it isn’t talked about. “For me, Gigio remains the strongest Italian goalkeeper, a heritage of our football that should be better supported and protected.”

Finally, Pagliuca spoke about Italy’s goalkeeping choices moving forward. “Behind Donnarumma there are great goalkeepers like Vicario and Provedel who I really like, and they are two guarantees. And behind them come the various Di Gregorios etc. The goalkeeper is the least of Spalletti’s problems.” He further added.

Meanwhile…

Inter have set their sights on Napoli midfielder, Piotr Zielinski and are reportedly ready to carve out space in their squad for the Pole. The 29-year-old played a key role in the Partenopei’s historic Scudetto success last term, being a key figure in Luciano Spalletti’s squad, and has mostly maintained this form in the new season, despite the other issues affecting the team.

Read Also: Jose Mourinho’s Nice Gesture To His Former Assistant On Christmas Day

His contract with Napoli expires at the end of this season and a new deal doesn’t seem likely, with months of negotiations failing to result in an agreement. As such, a departure in January is starting to look inevitable. Reports have it that Inter directors Beppe Marotta and Piero Ausilio have been in close contact with Zielinski’s entourage in recent weeks, lining up a three-year contract with an option for a fourth.

The plan is to formalize negotiations at the start of the January transfer window and set up the deal for June, allowing the Pole to close out the season with Napoli before joining Simone Inzaghi’s squad. In the meantime, Inter are working to make some space in their squad, looking to find a new home for Lucien Agoume. Both Stefano Sensi and Davy Klassen have contracts expiring in June and their deals will not be renewed, allowing both to leave on free transfers.

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