It's sort of been an undercurrent to our coverage of Roma's women's team since the close of their inaugural season, but given the lack of history and mainstream press coverage (not to mention the issues of professionalism, salary caps and pay), we simply had no idea how the transfer market would work in this new venture. And while it doesn't appear too dissimilar from the men's game, it’s definitely less heralded, though we've certainly tried to pass along whatever nuggets we stumbled upon.
And today, those nuggets look like gold as Roma announced two official signings. No, they haven't landed the white whale yet (Manuela Giugliano), but the Giallorosse nabbed two solid players, each of whom should slot right into Betty Bavagnoli's starting eleven.
First up, Andressa Alves:
Andressa Alves, or simply Andressa, is a 26-year-old forward/winger/midfielder who comes to Roma from Barcelona, where she spent the past two seasons, scoring 18 goals in a little over 2,000 minutes of action. Prior to moving to La Liga, Andressa played one season with Montpelier in France.
Andressa has scored 18 goals in 84 caps for Brazil and featured at last month's World Cup in France, and has represented Brazil at the Olympics, the Panamerican Games and the Copa America, which she won twice in 2014 and 2018.
On joining Roma, Andressa spoke to the relationship between Roma and Brazilians:
I know that Roma has a great history with Brazilian players...I am delighted to become the first Brazilian to play for Roma Women.
I was kind of shocked by that at first, and then I remembered this was on the club's second season in existence! But in the immortal words of Forrest Gump, I am not a smart man.
As you can tell from the highlight package, Andressa is a tall, gliding sort of forward, one that is equally adept at cutting in from the right and working on the middle, and she appears to have a pretty wicked left foot.
It remains to be seen where she'll fit in Bavagnoli's lineup from a tactical standpoint, but she should ease the scoring pressure off Annamaria Serturini.
But Andressa wasn't the only signing unveiled today....
I'm going to assume Erzen is the club's first Slovenian as well, but the 24-year-old joins Roma from Tavagnacco, where she spent the past two seasons filling a variety of roles. Erzen is technically the first signing of the summer for the club, so apologies for burying the lede, and her versatility (full back, winger and midfield) should enable Bavagnoli to mix and match throughout the year, but one would imagine she'll be the club's starting right back, barring any other moves.
Erzen's versatility, her athleticism and her ability to do this (1:14 minute mark) could make her a diamond in the rough for Roma:
Erzen and Andressa are the club's first two signings of the summer—and ones that address specific areas of need—but they certainly won't be the last.