Legendary former Juventus and Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon had recommended Yann Sommer as his replacement as far back as 2013.
Today’s print edition of Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport, via FCInterNews, who note that the current Inter Milan goalkeeper could well have ended up on the other side of the Derby d’Italia divide.
Sommer arrived at Inter this summer from Bayern Munich.
The Swiss came in after six months with the German champions, after having also spent nearly a decade at Borussia Monchengladbach.
Sommer had big shoes to fill. He replaced Andre Onana following the Cameroonian’s big money move to Manchester United.
But a decade ago, the Swiss had been tipped to be the heir to, with all due respect to Onana, a considerably bigger legacy.
Gianluigi Buffon Recommended Yann Sommer As Replacement At Juventus
Buffon praised Sommer effusively in a 2013 interview with Tuttosport.
And for his part, Sommer reciprocated, noting that the Bianconeri legend was his role model in his position.
And Tuttosport note that Buffon had recommended Sommer to Beppe Marotta, then at Juventus.
In the end, Marotta and Juventus didn’t end up signing Sommer.
The Swiss was still at Basel at the time, where he had been impressing. Then in 2014 he made the move to Gladbach.
Juventus, for their part, stuck with Buffon for a few more years.
Then it wound up being ex-Arsenal and Roma keeper Wojcjech Szczesny who was Buffon’s long-term heir.
But Marotta evidently never stopped following Sommer.
The executive brought the keeper in this summer. And that was not the first time there had been transfer links between Sommer and Inter.
But Sommer didn’t arrive as the fresh young face with promise that Buffon had praised at Basel.
The 34-year-old now represents experience and a known quality.
Sommer’s years in the Bundesliga and heroics for the Swiss national team through the last decade made it very clear to Inter what they were getting.
But that quality is also something that Buffon had recognized ten years ago.
And if the Bianconeri had heeded the Italian’s advice, Sommer could well be starting on the opposite side of tomorrow’s top-of-the-table Serie A clash.