While I have thoroughly enjoyed covering AS Roma's women's team, and indeed Serie A Femminile as a whole, the dearth of primary source material drives the former history student in me mad. How can one reasonably expect to promote a dialogue or even deepen one's knowledge without some first-hand resources? I suspect this will change as the league grows in popularity—attendance begets media coverage after all—but as Roma fans we're incredibly lucky that the club broadcasts a majority of their matches via Twitter, but plugging in the non-matchday coverage can be challenging, particularly this time of year.
Summer is prime-time for transfers, but unlike their male counterparts, Serie A Femminile isn't awash in transfer rumor coverage, which is either a blessing or a curse depending on how intently you follow the rumor cycle. However, as we preached all season long, Roma are this close to making some serious noise in Serie A, and with a few key additions they could be legitimate threats to Juventus—all of which makes the complete lack of coverage (or even outlandish hearsay) all the more frustrating.
As we discussed late in the spring, Roma don't need much, but like any squad on the verge of contention it's the little things that matter most. With some added depth in midfield, reinforcements in central defense and a center-forward to counter Agnese Bonfantini (I'm presuming she's back until I hear otherwise) and Annamaria Serturini, Roma can close the gap on the Juve/Fiorentina/Milan troika currently running the league.
So, with that in mind, I thought I’d just make up some of my own rumors! Again, given that the players in Serie A aren't considered fully professionals, I have no idea how the transfer system works, nor can we really tell how appealing life in the peninsula is to the women currently playing in Spain, England or France (in terms of pay and the level of football), but we'll try.
With all that in mind, here are a handful of semi-realistic transfer targets that will help put Roma over the top next season.
Manuela Giugliano (AC Milan)
We talked about this prospective transfer a few weeks ago, but in sum: Giugliano is the perfect addition for Roma:
We’ve seen everything Giugliano is capable of in this World Cup. Though she played a more advanced role with AC Milan last season, Giugliano starred as midfield anchor for the Azzurre. Her defence-splitting passes from deep were just as impressive as her work ethic tracking back, between her central defensive pair, to cut out the danger anywhere inside Italy’s own half and penalty area.
Giugliano’s performance in the opening game against Australia kept Italy in the game and launched the Azzure’s comeback victory that many weren’t sure could be achieved before the tournament. Thanks to Giugliano’s interceptions and through balls, the upset victory was the first of Italy’s momentum picking up steam all the way to the quarter-finals.
On her potential pairing with Roma's own star in the making Giada Greggi:
Both young Italians are capable of playing in deep midfield or further up behind the strikers, and their ball-winning ability would have Roma dominating possession. To top it off, neither Greggi or Giugliano are strangers to scoring goals from midfield. Giugliano once scored 15 goals in 21 appearances for Verona in the 2016-17 Serie A season, though the competition levels of the league have already jumped noticeably since then.
Thanks to their change in managers, Milan are a bit in flux right now, so if Roma can take advantage of that chaos, their midfield will be set for many years to come.
Stefania Tarenzi: Forward (Chievo)
Tarenzi, 31-years-old, was the leading scorer for the now defunct Chievo with 13 goals in 20 appearances last season, the third time in the past five seasons she's reached double digits. Tarenzi isn't a star by any means, but with 87 career Serie A goals she would provide the Giallorosse with a much needed goal scoring presence up top. And what's more, with seven trophies to her name and experience in the Champions League, she's a proven winner; something a young side like Roma needs.
Profiting off Chievo's bad fortune isn't the most noble thing Roma would ever do, but Tarenzi would slot in nicely between Roma's young wingers.
Kaja Eržen: Right Back (Tavagnacco)
Erzen, a 24-year-old Slovenian, is the very epitome of versatile. Having arrived at Tavagnacco two years ago, Erzen initially profiled as a winger, but has since made appearances as a forward, midfielder, and most recently as a right back, where she spent the majority of her 1,800 league minutes last season, even chipping in four league goals, one of which was a scorcher against Roma:
All clubs need versatile players, but with Jenny Bitzer leaving the club, Roma has a vacancy at right back, one Erzen could fill quite easily. Adding her bag of skills to the likes of Elisa Bartoli and 19-year-old up and comer Angelica Soffia would give Roma three dynamic fullbacks with which to rotate.
As we mentioned throughout Roma's inaugural season in Serie A Femminile, the Giallorosse sort of found themselves stuck in limbo: they're better than the Sassuolos and Florentias of the league yet they're not quite to the level of the top three sides, Juventus, AC Milan and Fiorentina. However, given the amount of young talent on the squad, it won't take a massive investment to push them over that proverbial hill, but with a few shrewd additions into the defense and attack, as well as nabbing Giugliano, one of Italy's brightest young talents, Roma should be primed to make more noise in Year Two.