QPR have completed the loan signing of Watford defender Gabriele Angella. Here’s all you need to know about the Italian centre-back.
In the beginning
Angella came through the youth ranks of Empoli, making his professional debut for the Serie B club in September 2008. After 55 games over two seasons, he was signed by Udinese on 31 August 2010, with his Empoli team-mate Diego Fabbrini also included in the complex co-ownership deal.
His debut in Serie A came as a second-half substitute against Inter Milan, when his centre-back partner was future Roma and Bayern Munich star Medhi Benatia. After six further substitute appearances that season, he was finally given a start against Lazio in May 2011 – but was sent-off on 66 minutes. That was to be his last Udinese appearance for 15 months.
In the 2011-12 season he had loan spells at Siena and Reggina but was reintegrated to the Udinese first-team squad for the 2012-13 campaign, playing 14 times and scoring four goals. At the end of that season, he was purchased outright by Udinese, who had just started forging links with Watford following their owner’s takeover at Vicarage Road.
Angella was among a number of players to move between the two clubs and he played 75 Championship games over the next two seasons, helping to keep a clean sheet against QPR in December 2013. He was also part of the Watford side that lost FA Cup games against Manchester City and Chelsea.
Since the Hornets’ promotion, he has been an unused substitute for Premier League games against Everton and West Brom and has now been loaned out to QPR.
In 2009 and 2010, Angella played a handful of times for Italy’s Under-21s. His debut came at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium, when Italy lost 2-1 to a Wales side for whom Aaron Ramsey scored the winner.
• Born: April 28, 1989 (age 26) in Florence
• Height: 6′ 3″ (1.91m)
• Position: Centre-back
• Previous clubs: 2008-10 Empoli (Ita), 2010-13 Udinese (Ita), 2013-15 Watford. Loans at Siena (2011) and Reggina (2012).
• National team: Italy Under-21s, 2 caps
• Trivia: As well as Benatia, his Udinese team-mates included Alexis Sanchez, one-time QPR loanee Mauricio Isla and future Chelsea winger Juan Cuadrado. At international level, he played alongside Mario Balotelli, former R’s loanee Federico Macheda and Fabio Borini in the Italy Under-21 side.