If our 2019 article in which we proclaimed her the future of Roma didn't clue you in, we're big fans of Giada Greggi around here. The now 21-year-old Roman has been part of the Giallorosse since day one and has been a largely indispensable part of the equation since making her Roma debut in 2018. Blessed with poise, touch, and tactical intelligence that belies her age, Greggi has already proven capable of weathering the storms brought on by injury, not to mention the steep learning curve required of any young midfielder.
While she'll likely face stiff competition from Vanessa Bernauer, Manuela Giugliano, Thaisa, and even the still-to-be-announced Jocelyn Borini in midfield, Greggi's tactical versatility should ensure that she carves out a niche in new manager Alessandro Spugna's attack-minded 4-3-3.
If Greggi continues to develop and proves that her ACL is 100% healed, the sky remains the limit, so let's take a closer look at what the young Roman has to offer her hometown club this season and beyond.
Number Five: Giada Greggi
Future Comparision: Conservatively, Thaisa. Pie in the sky, Julie Ertz.
Who Is She?
Well, as you can see from that adorable Instagram photo, Greggi is AS Roma through and through. Starting off with the Giallorosse's predecessor, RES Roma, Greggi made her big league debut as a 14-year-old way back in 2014, spending nearly 1,100 minutes on the pitch when most kids her age were struggling with basic algebra.
Undaunted by her older competition, Greggi's role and responsibilities for RES Roma increased steadily during her four-year stint with the club. With that experience under her belt and the sheer enormity of her talent, Greggi was an obvious choice for Roma's midfield when the club expanded into women's football in the summer of 2018.
And at all of 18-years-old, Greggi was a mainstay for Roma during their inaugural season, logging nearly 1,800 minutes across 20 league starts. Thanks to Roma's impressive 2019 transfer campaign, Greggi saw her minutes slashed after the arrivals of Manuela Giugliano and Andrine Hegerberg, not to mention the steady veteran presence of Vanessa Bernauer.
Nevertheless, Greggi remains one of the most promising prospects in all of Italy, as evidenced by her 2019 U-21 Player of The Year Award.
What Can She Do?
Almost anything. Standing barely 5’1” in the air, what Greggi lacks in height and brawn she more than makes up for with impeccable balance, agility, vision, and a brain that just understands how to play football. If she were a little bit taller and a tad faster, she'd make an ideal trequartista but thanks to her impressive gaggle of skills, Greggi is the engine that drives the midfield forward.
Whether she plays a deeper playmaking role or does the yeoman's work between the boxes, Greggi isn't one to sit still. Rather than splaying the ball at any conceivable angle (which she can do) or dropping dimes from deep in midfield (which she can do), Greggi may be at her best when she's passing and moving. Working give and goes, one-twos, and creating triangular passing networks with her teammates, Greggi's imprint may not be felt in the box score, but she's basically a two-way pressure valve come to life, restricting the flow of the ball towards Roma's end while also funneling pressure in the opposite direction.
And if you play her closer to the goal, her vision and balance come to the fore, where she's equally adept at scoring and creating in the tight spaces around the 18-yard-box.
What Can She Become?
Returning to the pitch just in the nick of time to help Roma win the 2021 Coppa Italia, Greggi's recovery from an ACL tear seems well ahead of progress. And while she’ll undoubtedly need a bit more rest than normal, if she can put that injury behind her and acclimate to Spugna’s tactics, 2021 could be a springboard to bigger things for Greggi.
Still just 21, Greggi may still lose playing time to more experienced vets like Thaisa and Vanessa Bernauer this season (though both are only signed through June 2022), but make no mistake: the sky is the limit for Greggi. She may not stitch together the most impressive YouTube reel ever, but if she can harness all her powers, she can be a slightly more offensive-minded Julie Ertz. Plant her in the middle of the park and let her do her thing: busting up attacks, jump-starting counters, protecting the backline, and using her passing and dribbling progression to recycle possession and keep the opposition on the back-heel.
The extent and pace with which Greggi develops will depend a lot on her patience. Roma is an extremely ambitious club and has added veteran midfield talent seemingly every summer, but if Greggi can bide her time, learn by watching and make the most of the opportunities presented to her, she's the very definition of a glue-girl; the kind of player around whom a team's tactics coalesce.
That may not produce many viral videos, but it sure as hell wins titles.