Continuing our chat with ex Chelsea goalkeeper Marco Amelia we asked him about transfer market, that is closing his winter window tomorrow night, with his friend Asmir Begovic on the brink to leave the Blues after 18 months:
*If I were him, I would stay: it’s difficult to leave a team like Chelsea in a season like this, he can add some silverware to his personal trophy cabinet and I don’t think he will miss this chance, even if I understand that he would like to play more.”
Diego Costa allegedly received offers during this transfer window from a couple of Chinese clubs, this is what Amelia thinks about the Spaniard’s situation, since there are chances he can leave next summer:
“I hope Diego Costa can stay, my wish is that he will stay next summer. If he will leave I guess it´s easier for him to go back to Spain: probably he does´t like London very much and I cannot get how he could like China, so I don´t think he will go there. But it won´t be easy to leave for him, because now he´s a leader, he feels this leadership, he feels important, so if he moves it won´t be an easy choice for him, it´s more difficult to change in this moment.”
In his time at Chelsea Amelia had the chance to share the dressing room with a legend like John Terry, with whom he´s still friend, and has got only words of praise and respect for the Blues captain:
“What I liked more about Terry is that he is a TRUE captain, he arrives to the training ground before anyone else, sometimes I tried to arrive before him but I never succeed! He always beat me! He leads by example, he takes care of himself, he acts like a a real professional and shows to his team-mates that to reach certain levels you have to behave like that. This is the best example he can give to his team-mates and to the youngsters.”
And speaking about youngsters and academy talents, Amelia revealed us who is the one that most impressed him:
“Among Chelsea youngsters who impressed me more is Ruben Loftus-Cheek,” the Italian goalkeeper said.
“He´s got incredible physical and technical skills, he can adapt to play in more roles and yes, I agree with Conte, he can play as a number 9: of course he doesn’t have the moves of a proper striker, he has to learn them, he has to get more experience and maybe he´s not so fast as a modern number 9 has to be. I guess it should be better for him and other youngsters that don´t get much playing time to go on loan somewhere else to play.”
Premier League is, in this moment, the most fascinating championship in the world and Amelia told us why, in his opinion, the English league was able to overcome Serie A, that was the best league in the world over a decade ago:
“First of all, the stadia are better: to have the fans so close to the pitch, without fences, it´s incredible and give the team lots of adrenalin, in Italy many stadia got the athletics track.
“Furthermore, in England there is less tactical exaggeration, the training sessions are more physical because you must be physically tough but you need also good technical skills and all this benefits good performances, the “Premier League show”.
“I had some managers that were too obsessed with the tactic and this damaged the performances, the freedom of the players to express their talents and the show”.
Speaking about managers and tactical magicians, we got now two of them managing the two sides of Manchester even if, until now, they probably didn´t fulfill all the expectations football fans had about their new adventures:
“I guess Mourinho will do very well at Manchester United,“ Amelia said about the ex Chelsea boss.
“When you have to put players like [Paul] Pogba and [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic into your squad and tactical system you have to find the squad balance again: they were a little unlucky in autumn, they lost many points and so the chance to be in the title race, but this happened because of what I just said and once they found their balance they started to play better and win. Usually, he wins and does better in the second year. One of his qualities is to make everyone feel important, so everyone is ready to fight if needed.
“Guardiola, instead, got some issues to adapt to English football,” the 2006 World Champion says about the ex Barcelona and Bayern manager.
“Mainly because he is trying to bring a different mentality. I don´t think that this is arrogance, it´s just his way to work, he wants to bring his style wherever he goes.”
Thibaut Courtois, David de Gea and Manuel Neuer are, at the moment, in the world goalkeepers top 3 and when asked about who, among the youngsters, can reach their level, Amelia has got no doubt:
“Among the new goalkeepers I like very much [AC Milan´s] Donnarumma: he´s just 17 and already a top player, he´s got tons of personality.”
Amelia is 34 but has no intention to retire from played football: at the moment he is a free agent and trains with a team near Roma, where he currently lives with his family.
The Italian keeper, anyway, knows what would make him happy again:
“My dream is to come back to play in England: I was really close to join Sunderland last summer, but then I had to go back to Italy also for some personal issues, because there are things that are most important than football. I negotiated also with a Championship side and I hope to sign for some team there soon: I am free agent now and I can find a new team until the end of March.
“I cannot go to China or Arabic leagues because they got some rules for which they cannot sign foreign goalkeepers, USA are fascinating but when you have to take these decisions you have to think also about your family, so I would prefer England.”
Do we have a chance to see him at Chelsea should Begovic leave? Everything will be revealed tomorrow night.
(Click HERE to read the first part of our interview with Marco Amelia that was published on Saturday)