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Tony Xia's bonkers 2016 prediction now a reality as ex-Villa man reportedly closes in on move

Tony Xia once incredibly claimed that pending Tottenham signing and former Aston Villa keeper Pierluigi Gollini would emulate Gianluigi Buffon.

Posting onto the Chinese social media platform Weibo via Birmingham Live back in 2016, the Xia singed Gollini’s praises following his arrival to Villa Park.

The now-Atalanta goalkeeper looks set to join Tottenham according to the Guardian.

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Whilst Gollini’s time with the Serie A side has seen the shot-stopper develop impressively, his time at Villa was forgettable.

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The 26-year-old keeper made 20 appearances in total for Villa before moving to Atalanta in 2016.

Indeed, Gollini is now an Italian international and looks likely to be Hugo Lloris’ long-term heir at Tottenham. And Xia predicted big things for the former Hellas Verona star.

The Chinese businessman said: “Gollini will be one of the best goalkeepers in the world and has the ability to emulate Buffon in the future. He will be one of the key players in Aston Villa’s defensive line with Tommy Elphick.”

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As you can expect, the prediction at the time was met with ridicule from Villa supporters.

But there is some truth in Xia’s words as Gollini prepares to make the move from Atalanta to Spurs.

The keeper has been a pivotal figure in Atalanta’s rise to the top of Italian football.

And whilst Villa fans won’t be losing sleep over Gollini moving to Tottenham, there has to be some credit to Xia for predicting the Italian’s success after joining the Villains.

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