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Ranking Roma’s Youth: Honorable Mentions

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Before the countdown kicks off let’s take a quick look at the youth players who didn’t quite make the cut this time around.

AS Roma v SS Lazio - Primavera TIM Cup Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

When CDT first started this mid-summer exercise a few years ago, counting down ten youth players was a challenge. The challenge was caused, quite simply, by a lack of viable prospects and information. We had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to fill out the list, searching the furthest corners of the internet and relying on suspect sources regarding if a player was actually owned by the club or not.

This year though, there’s a surplus of talent to choose from when picking the rankings, giving us, and subsequently Roma, a rare luxury. And coverage of the club’s youth setup has increased greatly in recent years as well. So without further ado, here are the youth players who were close to cracking our top ten, but failed to do so. It’s important to note that these honorable mentions aren’t disappointments, they just didn’t make the list this season.

Nura Abdullahi

Age: 19

Position: RB

Prior Club: A.S. Roma Primavera

Future Comparison: Deandre Yedlin

Nura, who turns 20 in a few weeks, is entering a make-or-break season after missing most of last year recovering from a torn ACL. A lot can change in a year in Roma World, which is precisely what happened at the right back position in Nura’s absence. Once lauded as the club’s future at right back, Nura must now show development in his game, especially defensively, if he wants to compete with the likes of Rick Karsdorp, Bruno Peres, and Alessandro Florenzi. He should be loaned out this season, with someone at the club keeping a close eye on his playing time and progress.

Edoardo Soleri

Age: 19

Position: ST

Prior Club: A.S. Roma Primavera

Future Comparison: Luca Toni

Soleri has already been loaned out to Serie B club Spezia for the upcoming season, which should be another closely monitored loan spell. The Italian U-19 international was a force to be reckoned with in the primavera last season, scoring a whopping 36 goals in 37 appearances across all competitions. If Soleri can prove his nose for goal in Serie B, he could find himself at Pinzolo in front of Eusebio Di Francesco next July.

Riccardo Marchizza

Age: 19

Position: CB

Prior Club: A.S. Roma Primavera

Future Comparison: Francesco Acerbi

Marchizza was sold to Sassuolo for €4.5 million in July, with Roma retaining a buy-back option in the future. The outright sale gives Sassuolo incentive to play Marchizza, similar to when Roma sold Lorenzo Pellegrini to them a few years ago. Given how well Pellegrini’s time with the neroverdi went, one can understand the excitement surrounding this move. Marchizza was a beast in the primavera’s back line last season.

Eros De Santis

Age: 19

Position: RB

Prior Club: A.S. Roma Primavera

Future Comparison: Matteo Darmian

Another staple of the primavera’s back line last year was De Santis, who was recently loaned out to Serie B club Virtus Entella. If De Santis plays well he may find himself competing with Nura Abdullahi for Di Francesco’s attention next summer. He’s not talked about as much as Nura, but De Santis could be just as talented as the Nigerian.

Davide Frattesi

Age: 17

Position: CM

Prior Club: A.S. Roma Primavera

Future Comparison: Poor Man’s Radja Nainggolan

Frattesi was sold to Sassuolo in July for €3 million, with Roma again retaining an option to buy in the future (I like this new trend). The Italian U-19 international has all the tools to develop into a great attacking or roaming midfielder one day. He has the speed to push forward and even make runs if necessary, but also has the ability to pull up and shoot from range. Frattesi’s move might be even more exciting than Marchizza’s.

Keba Coly

Age: 19

Position: ST

Prior Club: A.S. Roma Primavera

Future Comparison: N/A

Coly joined Roma’s primavera just last season on a free transfer from Spoltore, and he’s proven to be a steal so far. He scored 14 goals and had two assists in 23 appearances last season. A loan is the next step in testing Coly’s skill, although it’s not known at this time if the club is looking to loan him out. One more season in the primavera wouldn’t necessarily hurt either, plus he’d be available for first team call-ups to fill out the bench if the team was ever in a pinch.