Chelsea goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon has openly questioned the ability of Paris Saint-Germain shot-stopper Salvatore Sirigu ahead of the Champions League round of 16 tie between the two clubs.
Sirigu is likely to line up against the Blues in the first leg at Parc des Princes on Tuesday having established himself as PSG's first choice goalkeeper over the last four seasons. That is in spite of the fact that the club's Qatari owners could replace him on a whim.
But Lollichon believes the 28-year-old is lucky to be in the less physical Ligue 1 as he would not be able to reproduce his fine form in the Premier League. The comments are likely to stir up relations ahead of the crunch clash.
He is lacking
"To play in France or the Champions League, he's great. But for England, he is lacking in coming for high balls," Lollichon told Journal du Dimanche.
"A goalkeeper that is good in England will be good everywhere but the opposite is not true. There aren't many of them: [Manuel] Neuer, [Thibaut] Courtois, [David] de Gea, [Petr] Cech … Sirigu, I don't see it. He is a very good goalkeeper and I like his personality: he seems to bring people together, he thinks about things. That could compensate."
Against the odds
It has often been suggested that Sirigu would be replaced by the millions of pounds being spent by PSG. A club with their spending power were expected to sign a more established name. Sirigu was one of the first signings after Qatar Sports Investments completed their takeover in June 2011 but he was signed up Antoine Kombouaré, who was out of the job by December 2011.
There have since been links to the likes of Cech and Tottenham's Hugo Lloris, but the fine for of Sirigu has prevented Laurent Blanc from dipping into his vast transfer war chest. That in itself is an impressive feat from the Italian international.
Does Lollichon know what he's talking about?
Lollichon's criticism may come across as harsh, but the 50-year-old certainly has the CV to hold such views. He has been with Chelsea since 2007, where he was transferred from Rennes at the specific request of Cech. Since then, he has been behind the continued success of the Czech Republic international.
Having worked in both Ligue 1 and the Premier League for vast amounts of time, his opinion holds a lot more gravitas than most.
Do you think Sirigu would make an excellent Premier League goalkeeper? Do you even know who Sirigu is? Let us know your views in the comments section below!
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