Feralpisalò coach Massimo Pavanel, who worked with Inter linked Marash Kumbulla in the 2016/17 season, discussed the Hellas Verona starlet in an interview with Italian media outlet Calciomercato.com earlier today.
“In the 2016/17 season we trained the Primavera team of Verona players who were born in 1998 and some in 1999. But we noticed that there was this boy born in 2000 who seemed ready for the generational jump and we immediately gave him great confidence. His response was given on the pitch, because he was clearly ready and didn’t disappoint despite being two years younger.”
He discussed how hard the 20-year-old Albanian defender trained at a young age, showing his serious work ethic and concentration.
“Marash has always been a serious guy and focused on what he was doing. I think the thing that makes him special is his head. When the guys are young it’s easy for them to lose focus for even just for a few moments, whether it’s the objective or their concentration. For Kumbulla it wasn’t like that. There hasn’t been a training session or a game where I had to call him out. He was ready at the time, let alone today.”
The Feralpisalò coach commented on whether Kumbulla plays better in a three -man or four-man defense. Last season at the Gialloblu he played primarily in a three-man backline.
“I’ll be honest, I don’t think it makes a difference for a guy like him to play in a three or four-man defense and to add to that I don’t think it makes a difference for the coach who is going to coach him. At this age and with his head it is only a matter of learning. But it takes courage. At this age, whoever buys him, must find the courage to make him play with consistency.”
Pavanel was convinced that the 20-year-old Albanian defender was ready to join a big club like the Nerazzurri or rivals Juventus.
“Sure. I think last season has spoken. Marash has created stats that have made him one of the best defenders in Serie A performance wise. He can play in any team, not only Italian, and also with flair, so I won’t get into the market dynamics of Inter or Juve, but I’ll say again that courage is needed. It takes the same courage that Inter had with Skriniar after his year at Samp.”
Finally, he discussed how Kumbulla’s family have helped the player to remain humble and hardworking.
“In that season we faced important players like Castrovilli, Cutrone, Vido, there were talents like Pinamonti, Kean. But he never backed out, he had everything under control. I think that the secret has always been his family. While training young players, I have often met demanding families, who put their son on a pedestal no matter what he does on and off the field. Marash’s parents, on the other hand, have always been humble and fair and with such a family, Kumbulla could only grow up in this way.”
Kumbulla has been linked with a move to Inter for some time now, but the Nerazzurri have seemingly moved away in order to focus on more experienced targets, like Aleksandar Kolarov. Lazio are now in pole position in the race to sign the 20-year-old Albanian defender, who is contracted to the Gialloblu until 2022.