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Ranking Roma Women’s Youth, #10: Valentina Gallazzi

Roma signed one of Inter Milan’s highest rated youths this summer. Can playmaker Gallazzi show her stuff in Rome?

AS Roma Women Training Session Photo by Luciano Rossi/AS Roma via Getty Images

We haven’t seen new signing Valentina Gallazzi in action for Roma just yet, but we got a good look at her in Inter Milan colors when Roma Primavera beat Gallazzi’s former side to the Primavera league title a few weeks ago.

To put it bluntly: Gallazzi was virtually invisible in the first half when she was fielded in an advanced trequartista role. Then Inter re-shaped their ideas at halftime, moved Gallazzi deeper back into midfield and the Italian prodigy showed the full range of control and passing that earned Inter a foothold back in the game. When I re-watched the match after Gallazzi’s signing was announced, it took the second half of that match for me to understand what the hype was all about.

Number Ten: Valentina Gallazzi

Age: 17
Position: Central Midfielder
Previous Club: Inter Milan
Future Comparison: Valentina Cernoia

Who Is She?

Following in the footsteps of Agnese Bonfantini back in 2018, Gallazzi is the latest crown jewel from Inter Milan’s youth setup to be nabbed by Roma. Inter Milan had midfielder Flaminia Simonetti on loan from Roma throughout last season and, unsurprisingly, Simonetti did more than enough to convince Inter that they wanted her to stay permanently. But if you want that, you have to pay the price!

And so Roma negotiated a player exchange involving the far younger Gallazzi arriving the other way.

Galazzi has worn the number 10 jersey for both club and country at the youth level. Though many things in Italian football don’t stay the same, the number 10 jersey is still not a squad number that gets handed around Italy lightly. As such, Gallazzi is praised by her former coaches (in the video above) for being worthy of a free role to play all over the park, especially thanks to her ability to create space and chances from nothing—both for herself and especially for teammates.

What Can She Do?

Italy U16 Women v Slovenia U16 Women - Friendly Match Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

What little we’ve seen of Gallazzi directly contradicts what her former teammate says about her game in the video above. At Inter, she was praised for being able to make herself open to receive the ball from anywhere. In the first half of this past spring’s Primavera final, we saw Gallazzi essentially wait for the ball to come to her and completely isolate herself out of the action as a result.

But the second half, as we mentioned, was a different story. And we’ve only seen Gallazzi for one youth match, whereas her former Inter coaches and teammates have known her for a lot longer. Inter’s staff praise her ability to both take shots from anywhere and create those goal-scoring chances for teammates, as well as her dribbling ability on the ball making her the kind of player you want to receive passes in tight spaces (or in between the lines) in order to take the pressure off your team elsewhere on the pitch.

What Can She Become?

In a nutshell, Gallazzi is in the mold of Italian international Valentina Cernoia. Like Cernoia, Gallazzi has a hell of a good strike of the ball in her locker when needed, and both players have the ability to receive the ball under pressure all over the park. It’s that quality that has led to Cernoia being fielded absolutely everywhere for both Juventus and Italy; be it in deep midfield, further forward at trequartista, playing out wide as a winger, or even Juve’s new coach Montemurro trying Cernoia at wing-back this season.

AS Roma Women Training Session Photo by Luciano Rossi/AS Roma via Getty Images

That’s the kind of call to duty we expect will be played on Gallazzi’s shoulders in years to come. But let’s be honest: Roma has an absolutely stacked midfield full of continental-class names right now.

Gallazzi would have get through names like former Italian Young Player of the Year Giada Greggi, Champions League finalist Vanessa Bernauer, incoming signing and Brazilian international Thaisa Moreno, and Norway international Andrine Hegerberg just for starters. And that’s leaving out key players Andressa and Manuela Giugliano from the list.

In short, it’s not the right time for any midfield youth to be challenging for a spot in Roma’s first eleven. So we reckon Gallazzi’s signing involves a season of acclimating herself at Trigoria before possibly being set out on a loan move next year. She hasn’t been given any game time in this summer’s pre-season calendar despite training with the senior squad, but if Gallazzi could get some cup time off the bench this season then you’d have to say that’s mission accomplished for Valentina in the year ahead.