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OFFICIALLY OFFICIAL: Juventus goalkeeper Nicola Leali joins Cesena on loan

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Giuseppe Bellini

Many people thought Juventus' highly-touted goalkeeper Nicola Leali was headed out on loan to a Serie A club this season. And then when we saw he was going to spend a second straight season on loan in Italy's second division rather than challenging himself with the big boys, we wondered what was up.

Simple reasoning, according to an interview Leali gave with Calcio News 24 last October.

"There was contact with Cagliari and Sassuolo, but Spezia was the best choice. I can play regularly here and I'm happy. I need to continue doing well on a year by year basis, in order for me to grow. It would be hard to be at Juventus next season. I'll aim to do well this term and then, if possible, I'll look to take another step up."

(Source: Football Italia)

Well, after a season with Spezia, Leali will now get that first taste of Serie A experience.

Newly-promoted Serie A side Cesena announced late Monday that they have acquired the 21-year-old Leali on a season-long loan from Juventus. Leali, who was bought from Empoli for around €4 million two summers ago, will be looking to get the much-needed experience in Serie A he — and a lot of folks following his development — needs before coming back to Juventus.

"A.C. Cesena communicate to have perfected today the acquisition of the sports performances of the player Nicola Leali. The goalkeeper, who was at Spezia Calcio last season, joins on loan from Juventus FC."

(Source: Gianluca Di Marzio)

Leali  has long been hailed as a replacement to living legend Gianluigi Buffon at Juventus and possibly the Italian national team as well. Not many goalkeepers get thrown into the mix and make their Serie A debuts as teenagers like Leali did in 2011. But he is one of the handful of talented shot stoppers working their way through the system right now. We've seen Mattia Perin make Italy's 2014 World Cup squad, Simone Scuffet burst onto the scene with a bang last season with Udinese, and now Leali will (hopefully) get plenty of experience with Cesena come next year.

Yep, now we get to watch Leali in Serie A in a couple months. Sounds good to me. Let's see what you got, kid.