Zaniolo: “I’ve told my agent, I want to return to Serie A”


Nicolo Zaniolo confirmed that he wants to return to Serie A this summer: “A solution will be found, I’m optimistic.” The former Roma winger spent a season in Turkiye with Galatasaray before moving to the Premier League to join Aston Villa on loan. Despite heading back to Gala this summer, Zaniolo told Gazzetta dello Sport that he is not likely to remain, with a return to Italy almost certain:

Zaniolo, how does it feel to see Douglas Luiz at Juventus?

“I’ll always be grateful to Douglas Luiz, he provided the assist for the 1-1 against Sheffield… It was my first goal in the Premier League. An unforgettable and important goal: we were losing at home and I equalized with a header in the 97th minute. When it’s official, I’ll send him a message: we always had a good relationship in Birmingham. It’s a great signing for Juventus. Douglas Luiz is top: a very strong player, of international level. He proved it in the last season in England.”

If you had to describe Douglas Luiz to a Juventus fan who didn’t follow Aston Villa in 2023-24?

“We’re talking about a complete, total midfielder. With us, he played in a midfield pair or as a mezzala, but he has so much quality that I think he could also be used further forward, as an attacking midfielder. Just look at his seasonal numbers.”

Ten goals (9 in the Premier League) and ten assists between the league, FA Cup and Conference League, with a fourth place finish and Champions League qualification: is there anything else?

“Douglas Luiz scores and makes others score, but he’s also one who runs, recovers balls, makes runs into the box. And above all, he sets up the play, dictating the tempo of the game. He’s worth all the money Juventus invested in him and I’m convinced he’ll give a great hand to the Bianconeri.”

Who would you compare him to?

“Douglas Luiz is Douglas Luiz.”

If Douglas Luiz asked you for advice ahead of his arrival in Serie A?

“I’d only say one thing to Douglas: if you did so well in the Premier League, you’ll repeat it in Serie A too. He’s a Brazilian international and still young: in my opinion, he can do even better in Italy.”

What kind of guy is Douglas Luiz?

“A Brazilian-European, a nice person. And he’s a leader, both on the field and in the locker room.”

Douglas Luiz will find Thiago Motta on the bench at Juventus: your feelings?

“I don’t have a crystal ball to predict the future… Jokes aside, if I think about Thiago Motta’s Bologna and the midfielder I played with at Aston Villa, well, Douglas Luiz seems perfect to apply the ideas of the Italian-Brazilian coach.”

Will Douglas Luiz’s assists, which you also benefited from, be good for Vlahovic?

“We’ll see… Certainly Douglas is one who gets the ball to you clean and with the right spin, he possesses above-average quality. And he’s skilled in both short passing and long balls.”

Juventus, after Douglas Luiz, is also targeting Khephren Thuram from Nice and Koopmeiners from Atalanta: are they building a great midfield?

“All strong players. But Koopmeiners is Atalanta’s…”

Speaking of Atalanta and Fiorentina: will we see you back in Italy next season?

“I’ve told my agent, Claudio Vigorelli, and Galatasaray knows it too: I want to return to Serie A. A solution will be found, I’m optimistic.”

How much does it hurt to watch Italy and the Euros from home?

“A lot, also because if it wasn’t for the injury, I would have gone to Germany with the Azzurri too. I’m cheering from home.”


Serie A obsessive.