With Roma's training camp set to open on July 9th and the 2020-2021 season kicking off in late August, expect a deluge of Giallorosse transfer news over the next few days. So far this summer, Roma's transfer news has focused solely on departures, as players like Petronella Ekroth and Amalie Thestrup, among others, have left the capital for new clubs. All told, Roma have lost five players from last season’s squad, and while they're not likely to match the marquee signings of Andrine Hegerberg and Manuela Giugliano from last summer, there are several holes on Betty Bavagnoli's squad in need of filling.
And earlier today, the club did just that:
The Giallorosse's first signing of the summer is 26-year-old Spanish forward Paloma Lazaro, who joins Roma from Fiorentina, for whom she played during the abbreviated 2019-2020 season. Prior to her stint in Firenze, Lazaro spent the 2018-2019 season with Bari, as well as several season in Spain, where she won the Spanish League title with Rayo Vallecano in 2011. In 21 Serie A appearances between Fiorentina and Bari, Lazaro scored 10 goals in 21 appearances.
On her decision to sign with Roma, Lazaro cited the club's history and ambition for the future. On what she brings to the club, Lazaro pointed to her ability on the ball:
The team always wants the ball – I come from Spain so I like that way of playing, I think it will suit me well.
I’m a forward who likes to get on the ball. My real strength is in one-on-one situations. I don’t have a fixed position, I prefer to be able to move across the frontline.
I’m expecting a competitive season, every season women’s football gets better. I think it’s going to be a very hard-fought league campaign. We will have to see how everything restarts following Covid-19, but the aim of all the players is to get back into action and that’s a positive thing.
As the ostensible replacement for Thestrup, Lazaro's success in Roma will be measured not so much in her tactical flexibility, but in her ability to find the back of the net. Thestrup came to Rome last summer on the back of an impressive scoring record in her native Denmark (32 goals over two seasons) but failed to replicate that form in Serie A.
While Lazaro's scoring record isn't quite as prolific, she does have one notable edge on Thestrup: she's a proven goal scoring threat in Serie A. With 10 goals in 21 Serie A appearances, Lazaro has averaged an impressive 0.66 goals per 90 minutes over the past two seasons.
Lazaro should settle in nicely behind Lindsey Thomas in Bavagnoli's striker rotation, but if she can keep that scoring edge from the past two years, she could prove to be quite the weapon.