Joachim Andersen has hinted that he could be open to leaving Sampdoria this summer after a successful two-year stint with the Serie A outfit, and confirmed that his agent is in discussions with several clubs.
Arsenal and Tottenham have been closely associated with a move for the talented 23-year-old over the transfer period, while there have also been reports that the Denmark Under-21 international could be bound for Ligue 1 side Lyon.
Having established himself as a first-team regular in Italy, where his reputation as a technical centre-back has blossomed, he believes he needs to assess his options before deciding upon his next steps.
“It could be time for me to further my career,” he told Goal. “I have loved my time in Sampdoria – the fans, the president, the staff, the players, the city – but maybe it’s time to move on to develop further.
“There are a number of interested clubs from Europe’s biggest leagues who are discussing with my agent and I’ll be making a decision shortly together with my family and my agent.”
The former Twente star, however, spoke of the importance that Samp are amply rewarded for the way they have helped his career grow since he moved there in 2017.
“It’s very important to me that Sampdoria can also benefit from an eventual transfer. It’s not all about me,” he said. “I have so much to thank this great club for. Without Sampdoria, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities I have had to this point.”
He would not be drawn on his future destination but did underline his ambition to play at the very top level – and his confidence that he can do so.
“I have dreams of playing in the biggest clubs in the world and the biggest leagues in the world – I’m lucky enough to already be playing in one of them,” he said. “I think I have a pretty broad football education and I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to adopt to most leagues – but I’m not saying it would be easy.”
Andersen believes that playing in Italy and discovering a new style of football has benefited him immensely.
“I have learned a lot,” he said of his Serie A experience. “I grew up in Denmark and Holland playing with a lot of possession. When I came to Italy, I learned a new part of the defending game, which added a new layer to my football education. But most importantly I haven’t forgotten how to play ball. That means I’m still comfortable in possession while I have developed as a defender.
“My position is good and of course I’m pretty tall [193cm], which gives me an advantage in the air. I’m not going to tell you what I had to work on – let the strikers see if they can find out themselves!”
He reserved praise for Samp coach Marco Giampaolo, who is expected to take over at AC Milan in the coming days.
“He’s played a big role in my development,” the Dane confirmed. “He is known as one of the best coaches in Italy when it comes to defensive organisation. I have learned a lot from him and he has made me a more complete footballer.”
There has been some disappointment this summer for Andersen, however, as he missed the opportunity to play at the Under-21 European Championship due to injury.
“The U21 Euros was one of my big goals this season, so it is insanely annoying that I can't participate,” he said. “It was my last opportunity to play with the boys in the U21 team, so it's hard to say goodbye to them without having the opportunity to play the in the tournament.
“Of course, I would have loved to play, but instead of being 80 percent fit, I can now purposefully and thoughtfully build up for the next season without risking my rehabilitation. That way, I can concentrate on returning stronger and better.”