Despite some of our misgivings about Monchi’s administration, credit him with this much, at least he doesn’t wait until August to make moves like his predecessor. After wrapping up Hector Moreno, Rick Karsdorp and reportedly Maxime Gonalons, Roma today officially announced the signing of Lorenzo Pellegrini from Sassuolo, unveiling the Roman to the press just moments ago.
First a quick re-re-rehasing of the Pellegrini story. A born and bred Roman, Pellegrini hooked on with his hometown club from an early age, making his debut under Rudi Garcia in March of 2015. However, with several more experienced players ahead of him in the pecking order, Roma sold Pellegrini to Sassuolo two years ago to the day, inserting a clever little buyback option, which they just officially exercised.
To complete the transaction, Roma paid Sassuolo €10 million to reobtain the 21-year-old midfielder who was, quite naturally, excited to return to the club of his youth:
It is an incredible feeling to come back. This was my objective from the moment I went to Sassuolo. It is the culmination of a great two-year journey with them.
I want to thank Roma, including Monchi and the rest of the directors. They have always been in close contact with me. They made me realise how much they wanted me back.
Indeed, almost from the minute he left for Sassuolo, Roma fans fretted, constantly worrying that Pellegrini would be the veritable one that got away. Well, fret no more, my friends, Pellegrini is indeed back. Handed the number seven shirt, Pellegrini will not only have to live up to Juan Iturbe’s enormous legacy, but he’ll be tasked with carving out a space in a loaded midfield rotation that features fellow Roman Daniele De Rossi, Kevin Strootman, Radja Nainggolan and potentially Gonalons and Leandro Paredes.
Pellegrini’s blend of playmaking, creativity and ball winning should see him win a slot in Eusebio Di Francesco’s rotation in no time.
Welcome home, Lorenzo!