Alberto Paloschi acknowledges he needs to provide goals in Swansea City’s relegation fight after his big-money move from Chievo.
Paloschi joined the Swans for £8million in January but will lead the forward line at Spurs on Sunday still looking for his first goal in English football.
However, the former Italy Under-21 international, 26, has plenty of pedigree from Serie A spells at Milan, Parma, Genoa and Chievo
Paloschi scored within 17 seconds of making his league debut for Milan as a teenage substitute and reflects on it today “as it being like a dream for me.”
Milan’s team that day included modern-day greats such as Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Nesta, Andrea Pirlo and Brazil striker Ronaldo, but it was master goal poacher Filippo Inzaghi who stood out for Paloschi at the San Siro.
“I had a great experience at Milan,” said Paloschi. “They were not just great players and champions, but humble and helpful people who gave me all the help and advice I needed on and off the pitch.
“When I was a child Inzaghi was my hero, my idol.
“He was a forward and I wanted to be a forward. He was the benchmark I was aiming for.
“I wanted to be like him, to do what he did and to try and be the new Inzhagi.
“Now I would like to be the Inzhagi of Swansea, I hope so.”
Paloschi’s career never took off at Milan after that 2008 debut goal against Siena.
Injuries held him back and he dropped down to Serie B with Parma, where he played his part in a promotion-winning campaign under current Swansea boss Francesco Guidolin.
Paloschi moved on to Chievo in 2011, scoring 42 goals in 142 league games, but his impact in Serie A might never have happened but for Inzhagi’s intervention.
“He was a big influence on my career,” said Paloschi.
“I had injury problems and I was always in and out and not fully fit for long spells.
“It was like that for 18 months and it went through my mind that it might end my career, but he helped me.
“He sent me to a doctor who helped put me back on the right road to get me fit.
“Inzhagi was, and still is, a great friend to me. When he knew I was coming to Swansea he sent me a good luck message to wish me the best here.”
Paloschi’s new mission is to keep relegation-threatened Swansea in the top flight for a sixth successive season.
Only rock bottom Aston Villa have scored fewer goals than the Welsh club and Paloschi knows what is expected of him in the final dozen games of the season.
“I am aware of what Swansea paid for me and I will do everything I can to pay it back,” said Paloschi.
“That is my responsibility to do that and help the club avoid relegation.
“They have paid a lot for me to be here.
“It’s more physical here, it’s faster and counter-attacking is always one after the other.
“In Italy, after the counter-attack, they reset themselves tactically.
“There is never that breathing time in the Premier League, but I will do all I can to enjoy my stay here and make it a success.”