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Biography

Date of birth

02/03/1988

Height

188 cm

Signed

19/07/2017

Country

Italy

Experienced goalkeeper Vito Mannone completed a transfer from Sunderland to join the Royals for an undisclosed fee in the summer of 2017.

The 6’2” Lombardy-born goalkeeper first arrived in the UK as a 17-year-old signed by Arsene Wenger as he swapped Atalanta and his native Italy for a role within the Arsenal ranks.

His professional debut came the following summer when Mannone was on the winning side in a penalty shootout as his save helped loan side, Barnsley, beat Blackpool in a Carling Cup clash at Bloomfield Road.

After playing understudy to Łukasz Fabiański in the same competition back at Arsenal the following season, he was on the bench for a Premier League game for the first time in April 2008 – unused as Jens Lehmann stood between the sticks in a 2-0 Gunners victory against Steve Coppell’s Reading at the Emirates.

But the Italian was to get his chance at the end of the 2008-9 campaign, starting ahead of Wojciech Szczesny and alongside Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott in a 4-1 home win over Stoke City.

Champions League football followed as he kept guard for the Gunners against Standard Liege, Olympiakos and AZ Alkmaar in 2009-10, before keeping clean sheets against Wigan and Fulham in Premier League victories for Arsenal in the early part of the campaign.

A loan stint at Hull City followed and Mannone keep four clean sheets in his first five Championship games - saving a Shane Long penalty when the Tigers drew 1-1 with play-off contenders Reading in December 2010.

The former Italy Under-21 international returned to Hull in January 2012 to make an even bigger impact on Humberside, conceding only three goals in his first eleven league games at the KC Stadium – and he fought his way into contention for the no.1 jersey at Arsenal in 2012-13 before ending an eight-year affiliation with the North London giants by signing a two-year deal at Sunderland that summer.

In his maiden campaign as a Black Cat, Mannone won the Player of the Season gong at the Stadium of Light - saving two penalties against Manchester United to take his new team into their first Wembley final since 1992, a Capital One Cup Final against Manchester City in 2014.

Three years later, in 2017, Mannone left Wearside for a new challenge at Reading, and would play a majority of his first campaign as a Royal as first-choice stopper.

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