22 Goalkeeper Genoa Italy
2014 has been...
…alright but finishing strong, that’ll do for the minute.
What do want from a 22-year old goalkeeper? In a position so reliant on experience surely the minimum standards are a) makes the saves he’s supposed to and b) looks capable of one day doing more than that. Mattia Perin gets two ticks there and we have to remember that’s enough - right?
After two loan spells away from the club Genoa are now using Perin as their first choice goalie and reaping the rewards. 37 appearances last season, ever present this at the time of writing and now a full international, everything’s chugging along nicely. He’s not yet the most imposing of keepers either in stature or reputation, and he maybe doesn’t look like living up to the requisite “new Buffon” tag any young Italian goalkeeper is immediately subject to, but he’s good now and improving, and that’s more than enough for the minute.
To discuss him in terms of specifics we would say this; he does all the basics really well, he’s clearly working on his weaknesses (at one point we would have said his distribution was an issue but not so much anymore), he still punches when he could catch but then, that seems to be the way these days. He’s a safe and steady pair of hands and looks ready for the next level, and maybe that’s where the next stage of his development will come from.
His next move is a big one. He’s often scouted and interest from that club, this club and the one your thinking of always seems to pop up, but nothing ever appears to materialise in terms of a solid bid from somewhere. At the time of writing Liverpool are being heavily linked with a move, either in January or the summer, and it feels like the time’s coming to take a chance.
We’re in danger of looking at Perin and judging him against, say, the standards being set by a De Gea or a Courtois. There are some exceptional young European goalkeepers out there, is it fair to judge a good one by their benchmarks? Perin is gaining good experience, his distribution is much improved and his concentration seems excellent - just because he’s not at a team at the top of the Premier League or capable yet of that save that looks impossible, that doesn’t mean it’ll never happen. At 22, first-team experience is vital for a goalkeeper and the ability to learn from mistakes is key, you don’t have to be Superman yet and we shouldn’t expect it either.
So good progress, a very decent skill set that seems to be improving all the time, perhaps the only thing missing is excitement. That’ll come, after all being sensible is the new being reckless, but that next move is vital. He deserves to be a Champion’s League club, perhaps not a last-eight one yet, but a team where he can shine in the spotlight for a bit. Its not fair to mark someone down for not setting the pulse racing just because someone else does, Perin is a good goalkeeper and for the moment that’s all anyone’s asking him to be. It might be time for some tougher questions soon but there’s potentially an interesting summer ahead.
“A solid but unspectacular goalkeeper, Perin is carving out a place in the Italy squad where he can learn from the iconic Buffon. Needs a big club – the right big club – to put faith in him soon though” – Adam Digby
"Perin has made 300 saves since the start of the 2012/13 season, more than any keeper in Serie A during that time." - OptaJoe
C+ Tough competition and a position that’s difficult to judge at a young age, a good goalkeeper can go under the radar, the new Buffon? Possibly not, but that doesn’t make him a bad player.
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