You know what they say, when it rains it pours. After weeks of speculation about how the Roma Women would navigate the transfer market, Massimo Tarantino, the de facto DS for the women's squad, has unveiled four signings in the past week alone. Starting with Brazilian forward Andressa and Slovenian right back Kaja Ezren earlier in the week, Tarantino then added Danish forward Amalie Thestrup to the mix while finally landing the white whale, Italy superstar Manuela Giugliano, mid way through the week. And, well, we can now add a fifth name to that list.
Andrine Hegerberg, a 26-year-old midfielder formerly of PSG, has been playing professionally for nearly 10 years, with stops in Norway, Sweden, England, France and now Italy. And yes, she's the sister of Ballon d’or winner Ada Hegerberg, but more important than that she received a re-Tweet/seal of approval from Roma's resident Norwegian legend John Arne Riise.
Hegerberg has 30 caps at the international level for Norway, and if we look at her performance against Sweden from last year, we can see precisely what she'll add to the Roma midfield.
Hegerberg, wearing number eight, can be see all over the center of the park, recycling possession, switching play, using her close control to evade pressure and even executing a couple beautiful hook tackles to break up Sweden's runs through the middle. And if all that weren't enough, she can also play a killer long ball.
While she won't provide many goals (though she did score a nice one in that match), Hegerberg's bag of skills, particularly her defensive work-rate and her ability to distribute from deep, should enable Betty Bavagnoli to deploy either Giada Greggi or Manuela Giugliano further up the pitch when the time comes.
Either way, adding a player as complete as Hegerberg to the mix with Greggi, Giugliano and Vanessa Bernauer will allow Roma to play virtually any style of football they prefer, be it fast and loose pressing up the pitch, or sitting back, absorbing and countering. Hegerberg's ability to keep play moving will give Greggi and Giugliano more room for error and more space in which to work.
When coupled with the moves made on the men's side, both Roma senior teams identified a plan this summer and are sticking to it—it's a beautiful thing to see. While the Giallorosse have bid farewell to a few fan favorites, the team as a whole has markedly improved this summer.