Saturday 08

Championship Story

Gollini heads back to Italy

13th January 2017, 14:53 by Aidan Perkins

Aston Villa goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini has left the club and joined Serie A side Atalanta on an 18-month loan deal.

Gollini joined Villa in the summer for around £4million from Italian outfit Hellas Verona and he was first-choice for the first few months of the season.

However, since Steve Bruce arrived in October he has struggled for action and following the signing of Manchester United youngster Sam Johnstone on loan, he has slipped down the pecking order with Mark Bunn also offering competition.

Bruce was surprised by his exit but admitted the 21-year-old needs game-time and it's a deal that should suit everyone.

"It came out of the blue last night," Bruce told BBC Radio WM. "We agreed a deal and it was done in a couple of hours and he's now gone off to Atalanta."

"It's fair to say that once I'd left him out and I'd brought in another keeper, what was the next step for Pier?

"It was a little bit too early at this stage of his career to come to Villa. He still needs to learn his trade. It's a good thing he's out there playing again. Ideally it would have been in this country, but we still own him and we'll keep monitoring his progress."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Aidan Perkins is a senior journalist that specialises in football stories. Aidan, a Liverpool fan, also has a broad knowledge of several other sports.

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