The transfer we reported on back in June has finally come to a successful conclusion, as Roma announced the signing of Brazil international Thaisa today. This move was beset by imposed quarantines and work-permit delays, but Thaisa’s arrival in Rome gives the midfield some much-needed defensive prudence to help support the ultra-offensive Roma fullbacks in the coming 2021-2022 season. Thaisa joins from former La Liga club Real Madrid and returns to Serie A after having previously played for AC Milan.
Back in her lone season with Milan, Thaisa was fielded in a more box-to-box role alongside Manuela Giugliano for Carolina Morace’s side. Roma first tried to sign Thaisa along with Giugliano in the summer of 2019 but had to wait until this summer to finally land their long-term target. Head of Women’s Football Betty Bavagnoli spoke on the move:
“Thaisa needs no introduction as her career speaks for her. We’ve been following her with great interest for a while and I’m very happy she’s become our player. We know what she can give this team: Beyond just her experience, she will give character and a big helping hand from the point of view of mentality.”
Now Thaisa will re-find her former clubmate Giugliano together in the red and yellow of Roma, as well as linking up with Brazil teammate Andressa in the Giallorosse midfield department (and the incoming signing of Brazil utility player Borini). Thaisa is now 32-years-old going on 33 later this calendar year, so she’ll likely take up a much deeper role in this current Roma midfield than her previous Serie A outing a few seasons ago.
In the 2018/19 season for Milan, Thaisa scored 3 goals from midfield and came up with different kinds of finishes in the box to help Milan finish above Roma that year. While more goals from midfield would be nice for Roma right now, it’s far more likely that Thaisa will be expected to hang back and cover the space behind either one of Roma’s full-backs in order to help Roma guard against counter-attacks, especially counters from out wide.
The Brazilian had already been doing as much for Real Madrid last season, which saw Real finish second in the league despite Thaisa having to overcome injury problems throughout last season. The road to recovery essentially cost Thaisa her place in this summer’s Brazil Olympics team, but Thaisa finished the business end of last season strong, popping up inside the opponent’s box to score her first and only goal for Real Madrid before announcing she ending her two-year spell in Spanish football.
That means Madrid’s loss will be Roma’s gain, as Alessandro Spugna’s side welcomes a player who will immediately find familiar faces in Rome to help solidify the club’s bid for a top-two finish this coming season. Thaisa had reportedly been quarantining in a club-rented apartment in Rome’s Acqua Acetosa district, before waiting for Italian bureaucracy to approve her work permit in yet more delays.
But now the deal is done, and the Roma defense and midfield are so stacked with accomplished names at this level, that we struggle to understand what Spugna’s Plan A will be for this current Roma team. We’ll enjoy watching him figure it all out for now.