If there was ever one player who deserved a contract bump this summer, it was Cengiz Ünder. Now Roma announce that the Turkish marksman has signed a contract extension until the summer of 2023, while Ünder’s pay increases to a net 2 million euros per year plus bonuses.
While Zaniolo’s extension was announced in the late hours of yesterday evening, the full details emerged this morning that Zaniolo is very much on a “contract for the future” - a 1.5 million per year wage plus bonuses given to the Italian prodigy. That’ll get revised if Zaniolo puts in a full season’s worth of football under his belt. Ünder, on the other hand, is a player for the here and now.
The Turk has spent two seasons (and counting) honing his Serie A game, and contributed to Roma’s attack in a major way through both Ünder’s debut and sophomore seasons. We speak as though Ünder disappeared last season, and that he did through 3 straights months of injury, but that didn’t stop the forward from registering the third biggest contribution to Roma’s 2018/19 attack in what little time Ünder spent on the pitch. Cengiz is crucial to giving Paulo Fonseca’s rival coaches an extra something to think about on the day before facing Roma, and the club is finally recognising that fact on the bottom line.
“We strongly wanted this contract renewal because we consider Cengiz to be a pure talent,” said Roma sporting director Gianluca Petrachi through a club press release. “We’re certain that he’ll bring a big technical contribution to the team in the coming years while expressing the maximum of his potential here with Roma. It’s the ideal place for him to keep growing.”
“I came to Roma two years ago,” Ünder said in the same press release, “and day after day I feel more and more in love with this city, these colours and these fans. It’s a truly happy moment for me and I thank the club for making my desire to keep playing for Roma come true.”
There has been no mention of release clauses in either one of Zaniolo or Ünder’s new contracts so far. We’ll await in the coming months for further details, but for now we assume Petrachi has set the club up with the right cards to approach next summer with full confidence, and not being held hostage by release clauses and low-ball offers (even though those offers will come all the same in the lead up to June 30th).
In the meantime, from Ünder’s side, there has been no subliminal threats to leave this city. No agent or parents talking up a move to Juventus, Inter or elsewhere. Just a guy getting on with growing, making assists and banging in goals for the club. When it comes to representing Roma, Ünder is more Roman than most. Even if it’d help that he spoke Italian.