Roma's Primavera campaign may be suspended at the moment, but the club's stellar start to the season—a perfect 6-0 record with 21 goals scored already—continued off the pitch, with the club locking up three of its most promising prospects with new deals this week. All Primavera players are inherently gambles, but by penning three of their best and brightest young prospects to new deals, Roma may be signaling a new approach to team building: identifying, retaining and actually promoting young talent,
While none of Ruben Providence, Nicola Zalewski or Riccardo Ciervo have made their senior debuts yet, they are, along with Tommaso Milanese, who made his senior debut earlier this year, the four most promising stocks in Roma's Primavera portfolio.
First up in Roma's renewal parade was Zalewski, an 18-year-old dual citizen of Poland and Italy. Zalewski, a right-footed left winger, has six goals and two assists in six appearances and has been with Roma's youth system since 2011. While he hasn't made his official club debut yet, he has appeared on Paulo Fonseca's bench three times already and with a new deal through 2024, it shouldn't be long before he turns those token squad list appearances into actual minutes on a Serie A pitch.
Following their deal with Zalewski, Roma announced another new Primavera deal yesterday: signing 18-year-old winger Riccardo Ciervo to a new deal through 2024. A Latina native, Ciervo has been with the organization since 2016 and has two goals and two assists through Roma's first six matches.
And last but not least, Roma announced earlier today they've also extended a new deal to French winger Ruben Providence, signing the former PSG product to a new deal through—you guessed it—June 2024. Providence was a bit of an unknown quantity when Roma snapped him up in 2019, but he's breaking through in a major way this fall, with one goal and two assists through six appearances.
If even one of these kids becomes a rotation mainstay, you'd have to consider that a major victory, but despite a lot of hype and hoopla over the years, Roma have struggled mightily converting these kids into useful senior pieces, a trend that new GM Tiago Pinto will look to correct.
Despite Roma's poor developmental record in recent years, Providence, Zalewski and Ciervo have shown enough promise to warrant new deals. Throw in Filippo Tripi, Lamine Tall, Ebrima Darboe and a few others and Roma have six or seven legitimate primavera prospects, so don't be shocked if new deals for them follow as well.