7th July 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
After two successful seasons at Sassuolo under the watchful eye of the newly installed AS Roma manager, Eusebio Di Francesco, Lorenzo Pellegrini's singing makes perfect sense for the Giallorossi.
Being a former Roma youth product, the move represents a return home for the 21-year-old, something Pellegrini described as the fulfilling of a dream, and a fine reward for all his hard work, improvement and persistence with the Neroverdi. Moreover, his arrival will hold extra significance to the fans, who love their homegrown players, for they now have three Rome born academy graduates to cheer on as Pellegrini joins his idol Daniele De Rossi and Alessandro Florenzi.
In addition, the fact he's worked under Di Francesco, who's been an instrumental figure in his development, and is so accustomed to his methods, should combine to make for a rather smooth transition into life within such familiar confines.
Pellegrini cut a suitably delighted figure in his first interview on the club's official website, gleaming how excited he is about returning to his beloved boyhood side. "It feels amazing. I grew up here in Trigoria so to come back as a professional player is what every kid who trains here dreams of. That said, it's time to put sentiment to one side and give everything for this club. I hope and I'm sure that I won't disappoint the club or the fans," he asserted.
He then went onto to show his appreciation towards Di Francesco for his role in overseeing his tremendous progression at Sassuolo, saying: "He's very clear in his ideas and he always tries to be true to himself. He gave me a chance to play over the past two years and taught me never to rest on my laurels and to always try to do more. That's vital for any player or coach."
Although opportunities will be hard to come by courtesy of the fierce competition for places in La Maggica's midfield, Pellegrini will relish the chance to learn from and compete with the likes of De Rossi, Kevin Strootman, Radja Nainggolan and fellow new signing Maxime Gonalons for a starting berth.
With Di Francesco expected to deploy a 4-3-3, Pellegrini's favoured position is operating as one of the two more advanced midfielders of the three, where he can put his attacking qualities to best use and make penetrative, hard to track forward runs much like Aaron Ramsey does for Arsenal.
Two footed and a neat technician, the athletic dynamo is very competent in possession, as he's a tidy passer, an excellent dribbler and is blessed with a powerful shot. He accompanies his aptitude in these regards beautifully with his strength, pace and insatiable appetite for work.
His tremendous stamina, in combination with his spatial recognition powers, subsequently enables him to exploit attacking space effectively to be a vital outlet for his colleagues, while also making sure he's a challenging man to mark for his opposition.
The Italy U21 star, who's also been capped at senior international level, exerts himself fully on the defensive end too, with his vigorous, high intensity pressure often seeing him set the tone for his team to follow. Aggressive in the tackle to match, Pellegrini's forceful, combative presence, plus his vast knowledge of Di Francesco's proactive defensive methods, will only enhance his ability to come in and make an immediate impact.
"We are proud to be able to bring Lorenzo home," gleamed new sporting director and transfer specialist Monchi. "Over the last two years Lorenzo has gained valuable experience with Sassuolo, and we are sure he will contribute to the growth and improvement of this team."
Paying just a €10 million transfer fee for the highly regarded youngster, a fraction of his worth, due to Roma cleverly installing a buy back clause when he left two years ago, is another reason why this is such a great deal.
As preseason training begins in Trigoria shortly, Roma's new number seven will be desperate to impress and put his best foot forward. All the signs point to his integration being a rather seamless one, though, for he knows the club, his manager's philosophy and has an exemplary attitude.
Pellegrini's return to Roma really is a perfect fit and a move that should see one of the brightest talents in Europe develop into a truly elite central midfielder.
Licence to Roam - more articles by Edward.
Lorenzo Pellegrini returns to Roma - A move that is the perfect fit
7th July 2017. By Edward Stratmann.