Being the only team without a point so far this season (losing all four!), Southampton’s manager Nigel ADKINS decided to make some changes to his starting line up against Aston Villa. Among them was summoning an unknown Argentine keeper, Paulo GAZZANIGA from the bench to make his first start of the season.
A risky move yet he was given a great reception by the home fans as he was taking up his spot between the post (according to the club’s official Twitter post)
For the first 45 minutes it turned out to be a false start for him as Darren BENT scored to put Villa in the lead. However after 90 minutes, it was arguably one of the best debuts in the Premiership as the Saint turn it around to win 4-1, thus notching their FIRST WIN of the season!
I have to admit that I didn’t know much about him until I read Seba’s tweet on my timeline. It was then I took the interest to find out more about him.
Firstly he never played professional football in Argentina. Goal.com Argentina reported that he left home for Spain at the age of 15 to join Valencia’s youth side. After two years with no first team action, he made his way to England to play for League Two side Gillingham in 2011. He finally made his first professional debut for them in October last year, in a 1-3 defeat to Barnet, eventually establishing himself as the club’s No.1 keeper.
Despite of his relatively short career with the Gills, Southampton took noticed of his talent and decided to award him a four year contract in July; something which he describe as “mad, crazy and a dream move”.
And the rest you know as they say is history.
Here’s hoping that this will be starting point of more great things to come for Southampton and their newest Saint guarding the post.