Antonio Di Natale sees Andrea Stramaccioni as ‘a young Coach with a new mentality’ at Udinese, able to convince him to report in for pre-season early.
The Zebrette are under new guidance this term in the shape of former Inter Coach Stramaccioni and his new assistant Dejan Stankovic.
Considering early work under the 38-year-old, Di Natale has only positive words.
“He is a young Coach with a new mentality. He really wants to work and prove himself,” the 36-year-old explained to Tuttosport today.
“I do not know if he is the first, but certainly I told him that he came to the right club to improve. We have established a good relationship.
“We are at the beginning, but he was the first Coach to convince me to start the pre-season training retreat in advance!
“In years past I would start after a short delay compared to the others as in the first week I would train in Tuscany with a personal trainer.
“Stramaccioni asked me to introduce myself right away to lead by example. Given the changes, it seemed right. I did it willingly for him and for the club.
“And Stankovic? It is a bit strange, especially since both he and Stramaccioni are the same age as me.
“Dejan has won everything with Inter, but here in Udine he is working with humility.”
Di Natale was also encouraged to see Simone Scuffet turn down a move away from Udine this summer, to complete his studies.
“He is a Friulano, this is a decision on lifestyle. He must study and we are happy to keep him. We hope that he remains for a long time in Italy - he is very strong.
“The next Buffon? Time will tell. For sure, after seeing him three times in training he seemed to me to immediately be a photocopy of Gigi at 17.
“Can I see him at Juventus? Yes, well. And the same goes for Real Madrid or any big club.
“What talent will explode this year? I point to Muriel. Compared to Alexis Sanchez he has more quality, but he must learn to work with greater continuity. I am confident that this will be his year.”
The veteran striker also considered Roberto Pereyra’s potential impact at Juventus this summer, and Max Allegri’s challenge in replacing Antonio Conte.