Goalkeeping legend Dino Zoff warned Gianluigi Donnarumma “didn’t get a thing right” at the Under-21 Euros and should stay at Milan.
The 18-year-old shot-stopper had one of the worst shots-to-goals-conceded ratios of the entire tournament, even though Italy reached the semi-final.
It’s perhaps understandable considering the controversy over his Milan contract refusal, Real Madrid links and fan protests throwing fake dollars at him during a game.
“That kid is not focused, you can see it a mile away,” Zoff told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
“I think he got himself involved in a situation far bigger than he can handle, just look at what he did in the European Championship. Unfortunately, I expected it, because after the storm that erupted around him in the media I’d have been agitated when I was 40 years old, let alone him aged 18.
“He should just be focused on playing, growing and improving. Lads need to be on the field for as long as possible so they can learn from their mistakes. Like everyone, Donnarumma makes mistakes and he’ll make many more, especially if he doesn’t resolve this issue quickly.
“He didn’t get a thing right at the Euros. He’s talented, I said many times there’s a bright future ahead of him, but it all depends on Donnarumma.
“You could tell in Poland that his mind was elsewhere. You didn’t need to be a goalkeeper to tell he lacked the usual quick reactions, but that was only natural in the circumstances.
“My advice is to stay at Milan. He can grow there as a person, an athlete and a professional. It’s the right choice and the only thing he can do to get back on track in the maturation process.
“All of us have our future in our hands, but Donnarumma even more so. In football you are only what you give on the pitch day by day, not the autographs you sign, the wages you earn or the valuation your agent puts on your head.”
Juventus have been mentioned as an alternative for Donnarumma, where he could become the heir to Gigi Buffon.
“He’d fit in well there, but later on, not now. He has to understand that he’s got his whole life ahead of him to play for Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juve or wherever he likes.
“This is the issue: he has to realise that he’s 18 years old and that is his greatest asset, because being that age means you’re in no rush for anything. At 25 or 30, you are sometimes forced into decisions because you’re calculating the time left in your career, but he is a kid.
“Donnarumma must have patience, because if he has that, then everything will be fine.”