One of the summer’s open secrets has finally been made official, as Roma today confirmed the signing of Italy international keeper Rachele Baldi. The former Siena, Florentia and Empoli keeper will now taste her first piece of senior football outside of Tuscany, as she moves into the prime of her career at nearly 26 years of age. Does she immediately figure to be Roma’s first-choice between the sticks for the 2020/21 season?
Rachele Baldi openly declared, this past spring, that she had her mind on leaving home and playing elsewhere. But that elsewhere was initially meant to be abroad, in one of Europe’s top leagues in France or Spain, if Baldi was to be believed this past March.
Instead, Baldi been convinced to sign on for the reigning Serie A Coach of the Year Betty Bavagnoli and her Roma squad.
Upgrading the goalkeeping position was something we thought of as a luxury, given Ceasar’s good (if sometimes erratic) performances in goal last season. If Roma were going to sign someone, then they had to really offer something the capital club have never seen before in Ceasar or Pipitone.
There was no way Italy’s number one keeper Laura Giuliani is going to leave Juventus any time soon, and Italy’s number two Katja Schroffenegger had already been snapped up by Fiorentina this summer. So Roma have done the next best thing by signing Italy’s number three in Baldi.
It’s been less than a year since we’ve gotten used to former Scudetto-winning keeper Camelia Ceasar walking into the Tre Fontane lockers and usurping Roma vice-captain Rosalia Pippitone from the number one jersey. But now Ceasar has to figure she has serious competition to hold onto her place as starting keeper for Roma’s European ambitions.
Baldi may not have the team-accolades that Ceasar has on her CV, but Baldi has the individual awards, the physical stature and the acclaim of being one of Italy’s most sought-after goalkeeping talents right now.
If Baldi is to move up the Azzurre hierachy, it’ll be up to her to raise Roma’s level to qualifying for Champions League football next season, while the club will hope to do their part in taking Baldi’s international career to the next step.
Baldi wasn't the only name added to Roma's roster in recent days either...
Roma Sign Primavera Topscorer Serena Landa to Permanent Deal
If you’ve noticed yet another new face training with the Roma women’s team, in their pre-season along the beaches of Daniele De Rossi’s hometown Ostia this week, it’s likely that of up-and-coming striker Serena Landa.
Landa is the first proof-positive of Roma’s developmental program, setup last year, with Serie B feeder club Roma C.F. in the city. Landa moves from Roma C.F. to A.S. Roma permanently, after already having spent last season on loan with the A.S. Roma Primavera squad—and becoming Roma’s topscorer in the process.
Landa was the spearhead of an unbelievable Primavera campaign where Roma hadn’t dropped a single league point, before the league was suspended indefinitely due to the Covid-19 outbreak. She also played in a Coppa final loss to Juventus Primavera, while Landa scored crucial goals in both Rome’s derby games to defeat Lazio Primavera both home and away.
We’ve hyped up our Primavera strikers before, only to see Alice Corelli drift back into the shadows last season, through recurring injuries. But Landa looks like she has a particularly lethal combination of pace, poise and physique at just 19 years of age.
It’s thought that she will keeping training with the Roma women’s senior team, with a view to maybe cracking the bench this coming season, and splitting her duties between senior and Primavera action.