Turin, June 9 (IANS) Italian football champions Juventus have signed Italian goalkeeper Mattia Perin from Genoa FC for around $16 million on a four-year deal, embarking on a new era following the departure of legendary Gianluigi Buffon.
Buffon held the No.1 shirt of Juventus since 2001 and left the club at the end of last May. Juventus moved quickly to fill in the vacated position with the signing of 25-year-old Italian international Perin, who on Friday underwent medical test before signing the contract which runs till June 2022.
Perin will take the No.1 shirt but he will have to fight for a starting role with Polish international Wojciech Szczesny, who joined the Turin giants last summer.
“I arrive (at Juventus) with so much enthusiasm and with the utmost humility, I have a lot to learn, but I hope I can contribute to the cause. I could only say yes, these are trains that pass by once in my life: I could not refuse Juventus,” Perin said in a video released by Juventus.
Perin’s move to Juventus ends his 10-year association with Genoa FC, whose youth academy he joined in 2008 before promotion to the first-team in 2010.
“Today begins a new chapter of my football life, a chapter made possible thanks to the @genoacfcofficial and its environment that in recent years has made me grow as a man and as a footballer. The rossoblu colours will always remain important to me,” PErin wrote on Instagram.
He made more than 150 appearances for the club across all competitions and, at the same time, established himself as one of the best Italian goalkeepers currently in the business.
Over the last five years in Serie A, he is tied second with Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma for percentage of shots saved (73 per cent), with Buffon leading the way with 78 per cent.
In 2017/18 season, Perin’s percentage of shots saved rose to 75 per cent – the highest among all Italian goalkeepers to have made more than 25 appearances in the division, while his 12 clean sheets last season was second only to Marco Sportiello (14) among the top flight’s Italian keepers.
Having risen through Italy’s youth ranks, Perin made his national team debut in November 2014 against Albania and kept a clean sheet. Opportunities to represent Gli Azzurri since then have been limited with Buffon and Donnarumma occupying the main goalkeeping position, but Perin started Italy’s most recent match, a 1-1 draw vs Holland on Monday.