When Andrea Pirlo speaks, the world of football pricks up their ears, and so his choice of who is the best player in Serie A is bound to have made waves in Italy and beyond.
The former Italian international was elegance personified both on and off the football pitch, and his words hold a great deal of weight.
“He has everything to be a champion but he is more a midfielder for a two-man midfield,” he said to Gazzetta dello Sport, cited by the Daily Mail and in relation to Brescia’s Sandro Tonali.
“He could already play for a great team; he is the best in this league.”
The Daily Mail also note than Manchester United, rivals City, Liverpool, Barcelona, Juventus and Inter Milan have all be credited with an interest in the player should he become available.
At just 20 years of age, Tonali is a focal point for his current club, for whom Pirlo also turned out earlier in his career.
It’s not clear whether the youngster is angling for a move away or not at this stage, but it seems fairly clear that, should he or the club decide that it is in his best interests, he’ll be able to handle the pressure… in just the same way Pirlo did.