The swift rise to prominence of Inter midfielder Roberto Gagliardini has surprised many, including Italy legend Gennaro Gattuso.
Having spent much of the past three seasons plying his trade in the lower divisions, he stepped up to the mark when called upon by Atalanta and Gian Piero Gasperini.
That was enough to earn him a January move to Inter, where he has impressed since his arrival and Gattuso was full of praise for the Azzurrini ace.
“Gagliardini has found his own identity and that has been very impressive,” Gattuso told Tiki Taka. “I think back to when I first watched him two years ago and he was struggling to get a game for Cesena.
“Now, he is playing with great conviction and confidence. He has to now strike while the iron is hot and play as much as possible and then we will see how far he can go but he has been playing very well.”
Gagliardini isn’t the only man at the Beneamata who has impressed Gattuso recently, with the 39-year-old also singling out Stefano Pioli for specific praise.
“He has done an amazing job considering he took over a team who were really struggling,” he added. “As a colleague, I have great respect for the work that he has done.
“I think Pioli has been a great coach for many years and he is now continuing that. I’m sure he will remain at Inter because the whole club seem very happy with his work.”
If we take a look at his numbers at Atalanta compared to his numbers at Inter, we can see a clear improvement:
Interceptions per 90 minutes
- Atalanta: 2.2
- Inter: 2.8 (Top five among midfielders in Serie A)
Tackles per 90 minutes
- Atalanta: 2.2 per 90 minutes
- Inter: 4.4 (Top twenty among midfielders in Serie A)
Dispossessed per 90 minutes
- Atalanta: 1.6
- Inter: 0.8 (Top eleven among midfielders in Serie A)
Won aerial duels per 90 minutes
- Atalanta: 1.9
- Inter: 3.0 (Top three among midfielders in Serie A)
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