Thursday, November 23, 2017

Montella: Donnarumma a new breed of goalkeeper

SoccerNews in Serie A 11 Apr 2017

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Gianluigi Donnarumma is changing perceptions around goalkeeping, according to AC Milan coach Vincenzo Montella.

Donnarumma has quickly established himself as number one at San Siro after displacing Diego Lopez in 2015, the latter subsequently allowed to leave the Rossoneri.

The 18-year-old has gone on to make 65 appearances for Milan in all competitions, keeping 22 clean sheets in the process.

His form has also seen him earn an international call-up for Italy, with Donnarumma widely touted as Gianluigi Buffon’s heir apparent.

Montella has consistently selected the youngster since he replaced Sinisa Mihajlovic and says Donnarumma is breaking new ground for players in his position.

“Gigio is changing the way of being a goalkeeper,” he told Milan TV. “His shirt, for instance, is one of the most sold, and this is really something rare for a goalkeeper.”

While Donnarumma’s future at Milan is secure, Montella’s is far from certain, with Roberto Mancini the latest to be linked as his replacement.

Montella hopes that is just speculation and has set his sights on emulating the success of Carlo Ancelotti, who won the Serie A title, Coppa Italia and two Champions League crowns with Milan.

“I have really fond memories of Ancelotti,” he added. “He was the first manager I followed when he was at Chelsea and I was starting my career as coach. 

“He taught me a lot and I am really grateful for this.

“Here at AC Milan, I would like to achieve the same as him, but I know it won’t be easy. What I can say is that I have a sense of belonging to this club.”

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