Bologna boss Sinisa Mihajlovic is predicting big things from Aaron Hickey after watching the young Scot shine on his Serie A debut on Monday night.
The 18-year-old left-back was handed a swift introduction to Italy’s top-flight just over a week after completing a £1.5million switch from Hearts.
But there was no sign of nerves from the Scotland Under-17s player as he strolled through an 80-minute run-out during Bologna’s 4-1 derby triumph over a Parma side containing former Rangers defender Bruno Alves.
He was even treated to a standing ovation from the 1,000-strong crowd as he was replaced late on by Stefano Denswil.
The Rossoblu last week celebrated Hickey’s arrival with a hilarious Twitter video featuring the Loch Ness Monster.
And Mihajlovic is excited about working with Hickey, who follows Denis Law, Joe Jordan, Graeme Souness and Liam Henderson to become just the fifth Scot to play in Serie A.
The Serb told the club’s official website: “Hickey has both personality and quality, he has a great future ahead of him. He’s lively and is learning already.
“We scored individual goals today, which is why I almost can’t enjoy the win. However, there was an age difference of 32 years between the two sides, and I’m pleased about that.
“I enjoyed Hickey’s performance, I saw the Bologna that I wanted to see. I’m happy because you could see all the things we’ve been working on over the past week.
“We scored four, but could’ve had two or three more.”