On this day: David Platt moves to Italy

David Platt celebrates scoring for England at the World Cup on July 01, 1990.
© Getty Images
Back on this day in 1991, England international David Platt left Aston Villa to sign for Italian outfit Bari.

At his recent unveiling as a Roma player, Ashley Cole spoke of the current reluctance that English players have when it comes to plying their trade abroad.

Yet, it has not always been that way. In years gone by, the likes of Glenn Hoddle, Chris Waddle, Paul Gascoigne and Ray Wilkins all tried their luck in a foreign league, while back in the early 2000s, Steve McManaman, David Beckham, Michael Owen and Jonathan Woodgate all represented Real Madrid.

Another England international that spent time away from home was David Platt, who came to the attention of clubs in Serie A when he scored three goals, including a memorable volley against Belgium, at Italia 90.

He returned from that tournament to score 24 goals for Aston Villa, which was form that convinced Bari to part with £5.5m to sign the midfielder 23 years ago today. At the time, it was a record fee received by an English club for one of their assets.

Upon his arrival in Southern Italy, Platt boldly stated that he wanted to have a similar impact on his new club to the one that Diego Maradona had on Napoli. While that was a nigh on impossible task, he did make a major impression, scoring 11 goals from midfield in his debut season in a league that was famed for its ultra defensive style.

He endeared himself to the Bari faithful even further by watching his side's encounter against Hellas Verona among the supporters when he was serving a suspension.

Nevertheless, his positive effect could not prevent the Galletti from dropping out of Serie A. Platt had too much quality to play in Serie B, though, and he soon joined Juventus, making Bari a £1m profit. He struggled to secure a regular place in the starting lineup in Turin and so was sold 12 months later to Sampdoria, where he would become a key member of Sven-Goran Eriksson's Coppa Italia winning side.

Throughout his time in Italy, Platt was often lauded for having immersed himself in the culture and the way of life of the locals.

He was brought back to England and the Premier League in 1995 by Arsenal, whom he would help to win the double three years later. The curtain eventually came down on his career in 2001 following a stint as player-manager of Nottingham Forest.

David Beckham celebrates scoring for England against Colombia on June 26, 1998.
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