Every so often, there is a team that footballing hipsters flock to.
That is not to do a disservice to these clubs or their complex tactical systems that make them such a standout but, such is the way of the footballing chain, they are soon ripped apart by the more monied sides across the land while those who have based their identity on knowing all about them move onto the next flavour of the month.
Indeed, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax and Atalanta are some examples in recent years. Big clubs with proud traditions and hugely interesting stories, they invariably help talented players move into the mainstream footballing conscious.
Although he progressed through the youth system at Fiorentina, the 6'4 custodian moved to Manchester United as a youngster and spent two years on the Premier League giants' books before returning to Italy and impressing with Hellas Verona.
From there, Gollini did enough to earn a move to Aston Villa as they attempted to make a quick return to the Premier League in 2016 although, such was the mess the Midlands giants were in, he struggled.
Of life in England, the player was somewhat dismissive, telling La Repubblica in 2019 that he felt like playing on these shores was akin to working in an office.
“There is no group there," he said (via Sport Witness).
"You go on the pitch like you go to the office. I noticed it especially at Aston Villa.”
A move to Atalanta followed where Gollini would emerge as one of the best 'keepers in Europe. In fact, he ranks within the top 82% of goalkeepers across the major five on the continent for clean sheet percentage (via FBREF).
So, it's been a long path to what now, with all due respect to Atalanta who are clearly one of those upwardly mobile sides around, is a big move. Given the riches of the Premier League, it is a step up in terms of profile, though whether it can lead to more success is up for debate.
That rise in stature (at least in this country) could do wonders for Gollini's life off the pitch, too.
Away from football, Gollini is a rapper.
Adopting the moniker of 'Gollorius', he released a single in June 2018 named ‘Rapper Coi Guanti' (which roughly translated to Rapper With Gloves) and you can listen to it in the YouTube video below.
At the time of writing, it has over 1m views and the proceeds were donated to charity.
With Gollini now seemingly set to return to English football, it's certainly worth keeping an eye on what he does off the pitch, as well as what he can do on it.
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