Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini said he had ‘noticed the recovery’ of Josip Ilicic for many weeks already. ‘The goal against Liverpool is important’.
The Slovenia international contracted COVID-19 and ‘fell into depression’, as he returned to his homeland and was missing from the line-ups for months before returning to Bergamo.
In recent weeks, he has gradually shown glimpses of the player he was before the lockdown in Italy this year, when he contributed to La Dea’s quarter-final run in the Champions League.
Ilicic scored his first goal in 2020-21 against Liverpool on Wednesday this week but Gasperini pointed out he has considered the 32-year-old as ‘a recovered player for some weeks already’.
“The goal is important, even if Ilicic had come close to scoring several times,” Gasperini said at a press conference.
“For me, he is a recovered player, but not since yesterday. I’m lucky enough to see him in training. The recovery has been noticed for some weeks already.”