Ex-Inter striker George Puscas has spoken of his gratitude towards former Nerazzurri boss Roberto Mancini, describing the Italy coach as “crucial” for his development.
Puscas signed for Palermo on a permanent deal during the summer and has scored two goals in eight appearances so far this season, helping the Rosanero to sit second in the Serie B table after 10 games.
Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport on Saturday, the Romanian international looked back on his time at Inter, for whom he made seven first-team appearances, before telling the story of how he first joined the club’s academy as a teenager.
“Mancini was crucial for my development,” he said.
“He made me realise I could be a great player. He wanted me in the first team and he gave me my debut both in Serie A and in the Europa League.
“He used to stay behind after training sessions to teach me how to move in front of goal – now I’m putting his teachings into practice.
“When I was 16 I got a call from an Arsenal inviting me to do a trial with them, and it went brilliantly – I even had a training session with Wenger.
“But up until that age in England you either live with your parents or you have to go with another family, whereas I was on my own.
“Arsenal told me they were going to wait a year before signing me and in the meantime Inter called, offering me a place at the club without any trials. I told Arsenal I didn’t want to wait and so I went to Milan.
“Zanetti and Cambiasso were role models for me while I was at Inter, but I also learned a lot from Palacio: I grew up alongside him.”
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