Paulo Gazzaniga

Paulo Gazzaniga is an Argentinian goalkeeper who was born in Murphy, Santa Fe, Argentina on 2nd January 1992. Gazzaniga spent his childhood travelling between Argentina, Ecuador and Peru with his father David, who was also a professional goalkeeper. At 15 Gazzaniga moved to Spain to pursue his career abroad. He signed for Valencia in 2010, but received precious few opportunities in the club's youth setup before being released. Gazzaniga's spell in Spain was largely an unhappy one. He spent hours commuting to and from training, whilst also helping to run his father's bar.

In August 2011 Gazzaniga signed a two year deal with Gillingham, having impressed in a trial pre-season game. The Argentinian initially started as second choice behind Ross Flintley. He made his senior debut in the 3-1 Football League Trophy loss against Barnet on 4th October 2011. Gazzaniga's second start came in the FA Cup 3-3 draw at Bournemouth on 12th November 2011. He made his league debut on 28th January as a substitute against Accrington. The 6ft 5in stopper made the number one spot his own following a series of commanding displays. He quickly became a fans favourite with his enthusiastic efforts. Gazzaniga was named Young Player of the Year at Priestfield for 2011/12.

On 20th July 2012 Gazzaniga signed for Southampton on a four-year deal. The transfer saw Tommy Forecast move the other way to Gillingham. He made his competitive debut against Stevenage in the League Cup. The Argentine became the club's first choice keeper in September 2012, making his first Premier League start in a 4-1 win against Aston Villa. Gazzaniga made a superb save in the 2-2 draw with Fulham, but could have probably done better when conceding against Everton and West Brom. His mistakes against Swansea and Norwich proved costly, with Saints dropping two points in both games. He performed heroically against Newcastle, and looked good at Anfield in a 1-0 defeat at Liverpool, which would turn out to be his final senior appearance of the 2012/13 season. Gazzaniga dropped back down to third choice, with Kelvin Davis and Artur Boruc stepping in between the sticks. He played for the U21 side during the second half of the campaign, where he performed fairly well. Gazzaniga displayed plenty of enthusiasm during 2012/13. His technique looked good too, but he was far too error prone to be considered for a longer run in the first team.

Gazzaniga his first appearance of the 2013/14 campaign at Chelsea exactly one year after his last Saints outing on December 1st. He looked rusty and could have done better for at least one of the two goals he conceded at Stamford Bridge. Gazzaniga inspired very little confidence in another nervy display against Aston Villa a few days later. The Argentinian looked slightly better in a 1-1 draw at Manchester City, but was fortunate not to be punished further for a few basic errors at Newcastle on December 14th 2013. He had an absolute nightmare in the 3-2 home defeat to Tottenham a week later. Gazzaniga made some great saves at Cardiff in what was a more assured showing on Boxing Day, but dropped to the bench three days later following Kelvin Davis' return to fitness for the clash at Everton. He looked ok in spells at Manchester City in April 2014, but was still at fault for a couple of goals. Gazzaniga was one of Saints' better players in the 1-0 home defeat to Cardiff.