If you know anything about A.S. Roma, you know that the club has not had good luck with anterior cruciate ligaments in the past couple years. Too many players to name in one article have fallen prey to the woes of an ACL tear, often excluding them from play for anywhere from six months to an entire season. Some players return to a semblance of their prior heights (Kevin Strootman immediately springs to mind); others never get the chance to be the player they could have been.
Devid Bouah was listed this summer as one of our Top 10 Roma Players Under 23. At the time, we wrote that his peak could look like the Inter Milan version of Maicon: “(a player who) could be a kick-and-rush footballer down the wing if he wants, but Bouah shows invention and wizardry on the ball that forces defenses to commit two men at a time in an effort to try and shut him down (they often fail all the same)”.
Devastated for young Devid Bouah tonight. We’ll all help you come back again stronger than ever. pic.twitter.com/aMzPc72JpY— Jim Pallotta (@jimpallotta13) September 16, 2019
There was definitely hope that Bouah could become a part of the senior side this year, but fate had other plans. The young Italian tore his ACL in his left knee just after coming back from an ACL tear in his right knee, an incredibly sad turn of events for any teenager to endure. In a lot of circumstances, this would be seen as the death knell of a prospect’s chances at glory, but Roma never seemed to take it that way. Jim Pallotta tweeted out support to the fullback almost immediately, and despite now playing for Boca, The Man Formerly Known As Capitano Futuro, Daniele De Rossi, repeatedly reached out to Bouah to offer his reassurances.
We now know that those words of support weren’t empty; the Giallorossi have put their money where their mouth is, handing Bouah an extension running until 2024. Considering the recent extensions of Alessio Riccardi, Nicolo Zaniolo, and Cengiz Under, it’s not surprising that Roma would want to tie down another hot prospect for the long term. It is surprising that they did so with a player who has now torn both of their ACLs.
However, this shouldn’t be seen as a stupid move by Gianluca Petrachi and Morgan De Sanctis; on the contrary, it shows that the Roma hierarchy appreciates the players who come through the Roma youth academy and want them to grow. Sure, Bouah might not see the field for another six to eight months because of this new setback, but extending him now is a win-win for Roma. If he unlocks his potential following his recovery, Roma have a fullback of the future on their hands, and one who will certainly remember how Roma stood by him despite his injury setbacks. If he doesn’t become a starting-level fullback for Roma, that’s okay too; the contract shows that playing for Roma means you’ll be treated well.
In bocca al lupo, Devid. Hopefully you’re back with the Primavera and beyond in the very near future.