In his introductory press conference earlier today, new Roma women's head coach Alessandro Spugna made a special point to mention that, while he's not a devotee to any particular tactical setup, he does prefer his teams to play an aggressive, attacking, and bold style of football. And part and parcel of that, for any coach, is getting the players to buy into that philosophy. For a new manager, this can often be a monumental task, which is why we so often see new managers bring at least one or two of their former players along for the ride; someone with the requisite corporate knowledge to sell the rest of the squad on the manager's bona fides.
And no sooner had Spugna alluded to this very fact than Roma announced their latest signing: full-back Lucia Di Guglielmo, who spent last season playing for Spugna at Empoli.
Di Guglielmo, a Pisa native, joins another former Empoli player, Benedetta Glionna, as Roma's first two signings of the summer. Di Guglielmo, a 24-year-old right-back, has spent the past three seasons with Empoli, making over 50 Serie A Femminile appearances. During her stay in Empoli, Di Guglielmo also made her full international debut for Italy, coming on as a substitute in the Azzurre's February Euro qualifier against Israel.
On her new club, Di Guglielmo spoke about the timing and importance of this move for her future:
“I think that this move to Roma comes at the right moment in my career. I feel ready to make that step forward in my career, and I’m delighted to have the chance to do it with this club.”
Head of Women's Football, and Roma's former manager, Betty Bavagnoli spoke to Di Guglielmo's experience and character:
Lucia is a player with a lot of experience already under her belt, despite her young age...Her character has already seen her wear the captain’s armband and earn international honours.
We really wanted her here, not just for her undoubted quality on the pitch but also for her qualities as a person.
Di Guglielmo, who we may just call LDG, arrives in Roma as the ostensible replacement for the recently departed Kaja Erzen, who signed with Napoli earlier this month. On the surface, this would seem to put her at odds with Roma's incumbent right-back Angelica Soffia, but Di Guglielmo has played on both flanks, so this move should provide cover for both Soffia and club captain and left-back Elisa Bartoli.
While we await further news from the women's transfer front, the club's first two signings speak to Spugna's desire to turn Roma into a bold and brash attacking unit. If Glionna and Di Guglielmo can help Spugna install his brand of football at the Tre Fontane with relative ease, Roma should be even more dangerous this season.