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Totti Today #123: Gearing up Gerson

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Can the Brazilian wonderkid finally shine in Rome thanks to Eusebio?

AS Roma v Pescara Calcio - Serie A Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Gerson Santos Da Silva. Or simply known as Gerson. There was a time when Europe’s biggest clubs were after this prodigy (Barcelona to name one), but surprisingly Roma won the battle for his signature. Now, his father isn’t exactly the easiest person to negotiate with (he once blocked a loan move away from Roma), but he’s also right in a way. His son is extremely talented and was a regular for one of Brazil’s most famous clubs, Fluminense, at the age of just 18. He deserves an honest chance at the big stage. You see, players like him don’t grow on trees.

He was hailed as the next big thing from Brazil, a new Ronaldinho, Robinho, Kaka, Oscar, Neymar, *insert Brazilian footballer who can kick a ball with a certain delicacy and style but isn’t a defender*. Curiously, Gerson has always been part of Roma’s first team ever since he joined the Giallorossi in 2016 but he rarely made an appearance for Roma under Spalletti. Four games in Serie A, that’s his current resume. One of those was the famous Juve match were he was deployed as a winger in the first half, but was subbed off at HT for Salah (ouch, writing that still hurts).

Shame because his qualities are wiped away if he plays out wide. Gerson seems like a versatile midfielder who can pass, shoot and set up team mates, all at once. He wants to be part of the action and at the wing you get isolated a lot, especially if you play a smart or very defensive opponent. Only 20 years old, you can’t really expect him to be the leader just yet, we already have Dani, Radja and Kevin for that. But boy, the things we’ve seen from him in pre-season are a good sign. I wouldn’t put all the blame of his tiring development on Spalletti... Maybe 90%. Yeah, sounds right, 90%.

You see, now that Eusebio ‘I like kiddies’ Di Francesco is in town, Gerson suddenly has an actual chance to, you know, frikkin’ start games. Last season Paredes was the first man to come off the bench to help out Roma’s midfield. Guess what, Leo’s gone. Gonalons and Pellegrini were bought instead (plus, Monchi got some nice change left from Paredes’ sale). Both are new faces (well, Pellegrini not so much but you get the point) in Rome and so you can’t say they have a head start on Gersy Shore.

Gersy Shore, hmm I actually like that nickname, I call dibs!

Back to the matter in hand: Just like Alisson in my previous post last week, Gerson has a thrilling and exciting season ahead of him. Spalletti is out and Eusebio seems eager to see a lot of the boy in action, hence why he played in every pre-season game until now, something that seemed unthinkable with Luciano ‘Mr 90%’ Spalletti.

Yet, even after all this praise, I’d also like to point out Gerson is far from the finished product. He’s rather timid and should ask for the ball a bit more, grow some confidence, perhaps a bit arrogance like Radja and Kevin. He’s got plenty of time to learn and should take it easy. Dani, Radja and Kevin all are monuments of this Roma side and it’s not easy to conquer your place between those names. Still, if there’s a chance for a Gerson cameo and if the course of events allow it, he’ll get enough minutes from Eusebio.

Only one month ago people were predicting a loan or even sale of Gerson, he wouldn’t contribute much for the upcoming season they said. But after only four friendlies those doubts and critics are melting like snow in the sun or my heart when I see a cute kitten licking a child’s face while that child is holding a sweet rainbow lollipop and the song ‘All you need is love’ from The Beatles is on the radio. So nice.

Whether you like it or not, Gerson’s here to stay. Monchi already stated the midfield will remain the same as it is. And who could have a problem with that? De Rossi, Gonalons, Radja, Strootman, Pellegrini and Gerson himself will split time and basically have all characteristics we need for that department: Speed, agility, power, length, technique, assists, goals and grinta.

I’m sure Gerson’s contribution will be bigger than in the previous season, maybe not enough to guarantee him a starting spot in the first four to five months, but be sure to look for some changes by New Year. Strictly talking about talent, he’s in the top 3 of the current crop of players in Rome. All we have to do is wait until he explodes on the scene.

Be ready folks, because Gerson is gearing up. Time for Gersy Shore to party.