Iconic Pagliuca Compares Potential Inter Pairing to PSG Duo

Legendary Serie A shot-stopper Gianluca Pagliuca has given his thoughts on Inter’s future goalkeeper between the posts, as veteran Samir Handanovic is in the twilight years of his illustrious career at the Giuseppe Meazza.

The Nerazzurri have identified ex-Barcelona youth product Andre Onana from Ajax as the Slovenian’s immediate successor, but Pagliuca thinks Handanovic still has a few years left to play at the top level. Onana has been deemed as the most viable option – as a free agent – to take the 37-year-old’s place in the starting eleven.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport (via TUTTOmercatoweb) in an exclusive interview, the iconic goalkeeper disclosed his point of view regarding Inter’s future shot-stopper.

He said: “I would absolutely keep him. He has proved himself to be a great. If before he was a 10/10, now he is 9/10, but he always remains among the best in his position. Handanovic has been at the top of Europe for 15 years and is still vital, including in the locker room.”

“This season he has already bailed his team out on a number of occasions,” continued Pagliuca, referring to the goalkeeper’s most recent heroics in the stalemate against Atalanta in Bergamo.

Pagliuca also pointed out that Handanovic still has a ‘few years’ in him, without doubt.

“I retired at 40, so he still has some years to go at 37. I’m not saying he’s a kid, but he could easily keep on playing at a high level for a few years, there’s no doubt.”

The 1994 FIFA World Cup runner-up then took his own example to relate to Onana’s potential stance at the club, if and when he arrives next summer.

 “For me it was easier because Zenga had left. For Onana it will be more complicated because, if Handanovic stays, he will have direct competition.”

He wishes Simone Inzaghi gets it right managing the two goalkeepers, this time drawing comparisons with Gianluigi Donnarumma and Keylor Navas – both tussling for game time at the Parc des Princes under Argentine coach Mauricio Pochettino.

“Inzaghi will have to get it right managing them. He certainly must not do like Pochettino with Donnarumma and Navas, who seem to rotate at random. I don’t know who will be hurt most by the competition but certainly Handanovic has nothing left to prove,” he concluded.