Things are going great for Federico Gatti. The 23-year-old defender made his debut for the Italian national team last week and is likely to start against Germany on Tuesday. Max Statman spoke exclusively with Roberto De Luca, sports journalist of L’inchiesta, about Gatti’ second half of the season and what to expect from him next year.
How did Gatti perform in the second half of the season? Was he a good as the first half?
“For sure. He managed to guarantee continuity to his performances in individual terms, confirming himself as the leader of the defensive department. In global terms however, Frosinone’s performance in the second half of the season dropped dramatically and their defensive hold was also affected, with a total of 45 goals conceded at the end of the season. Those numbers are too high, and combined with an opposite trend compared to the first half, compromised a spot in the playoffs for Serie A. But, Federico Gatti has confirmed himself as a player with great potential.”
Gatti made his debut for the Azzurri on Saturday against England. What did you make of that?
“He demonstrated his technical skills. He made his debut in a game that was difficult to say the least, and yet he played with an impressive simplicity and with crazy tranquillity. A big personality for a humble boy, who until three years ago played in Serie D. In a very short time his life changed radically, thanks also to Frosinone who found him with director Guido Angelozzi and to the enhancement that coach Fabio Grosso has done. I am convinced that this is only the beginning of a brilliant career.”
Giorgio Chiellini has praised Gatti a lot during the last few weeks. Do you think he could be Chiellini’s heir at Juventus?
“I would honestly be cautious with comparisons, to avoid burdening him with heavy inheritances. I certainly believe that Federico Gatti has all the potential to become a great defender. After all, as Chiellini himself said in an interview this morning on Rai Radio1, he has physical and technical qualities above average. We have to let him work with serenity, but he has everything to do well with Juventus and the national team. He is a boy of great value.”
Do you expect to see Gatti start a lot for Juventus in his first season?
“I expect Juventus to bet on him, absolutely. Guys like him, with his qualities, deserve trust. You need to have the courage to launch them, just like coach Roberto Mancini is doing with the Italian national team.”
When you were asked who we could compare Gatti to when Juventus signed him, you said Milan Skriniar. Do you still stand by that statement?
“Yes, I confirm. Especially for physical characteristics and the way of defending. It reminds me a lot of Milan Skriniar, naturally with due caution. I repeat, I’m sure he has all the credentials to establish himself in the football that counts. In part that he maintains humility and keeps his work culture intact, just as he has done so far. Of course, his story is a commercial for everyone: never give up in life, you must always fight and chase your dream. The happy ending, in the end, always comes.”