The 2012-2013 season was an auspicious one for our humble site. Not only were Roma starting over again with a new (okay, old) manager in Zdenek Zeman, we had our own rebirth prior to that season, officially rebranding ourselves into the Chiesa di Totti. While our mission statement was to sing Francesco Totti's praises, if it feels like we've devoted an inordinate amount of column space to Alessandro Florenzi over the years, there's a good reason for that: the 2012-2013 season was also Florenzi's first season as a full-fledge Roma player, and a damn good one at that.
The kid with the curly hair chipped in three goals and five assists in 36 appearances that season, and by the end of the ’15-’16 campaign, Florenzi would bag 23 goals and provide 19 assists in all competitions. He wasn't on par with his two Roman idols, Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi, but it sure looked like the club had secured their next capitano futuro; and an incredibly versatile one at that.
With a parade of managers, a litany of serious injuries, and multiple position changes, Florenzi's coronation didn't exactly go according to plan, reaching its nadir last winter when he was unceremoniously loaned to Valencia, for whom he made 15 rather anonymous appearance before making his awkward return to the Italian capital this summer.
Seemingly sensing the error of his ways, Paulo Fonseca, now in charge of a more wingback friendly tactical set-up, reportedly asked Florenzi to let bygones be bygones and resume his position with the Giallorossi.
Unfortunately, Fonseca's pleas fell on deaf ears as Florenzi opted for a loan move to Ligue 1 dictators Paris Saint-Germain. Given his injury history and his inconsistencies on the pitch over the past few seasons, this was perhaps the most shocking transfer news we've ever reported on. Florenzi to PSG?! Seriously? Are you sure?
But with PSG, perhaps for the first time ever, adhering to a budget, they needed an affordable option to replace Thomas Meunier and deemed the 29-year-old Florenzi worthy of a flier. And boy, has their gamble paid off. Florenzi has been a mainstay for the Parisians, making six starts and scoring two goals, helping PSG strengthen their grasp on the Ligue 1 table.
Considering his strong start to the season, PSG's off the cuff summer gamble now seems like a no-brainer. And according to the Corriere dello Sport, PSG are giving strong consideration to exercising Florenzi's €9 million purchase option this June—in fact, “strong consideration” is probably selling it short; it's going to happen.
For those of us who love Florenzi, this is a bitter pill to swallow, particularly when there was space available for him at Roma this season. But once the club severed ties with him last winter, effectively denying him the chance to cement his one-club hero status, the bonds were broken; Florenzi's loyalty wasn't repaid, so he no longer owed his boyhood club anything. It's almost like Frank Costanza lamenting his inability to run for President of the United States because he was born in Italy: “If they don't want me, I don't want them!”
But hey, if you're denied the chance to etch your name into your hometown club's history, might as well join one of the biggest clubs in the game in one of the most beautiful cities on Earth, right?
Alessandro Florenzi's Roma career won't have the ending we envisioned eight years ago, but he did everything the club asked of him and deserves a happy and fulfilling end to his playing days, no matter where that may occur.
Bonne chance et félicitations, Ale!