Leonardo Spinazzola was arguably Roma's best player during the 2020-2021 season, and fresh off a magnificent run through Euro 2020, the 28-year-old left-back seemed destined to scale even greater heights under José Mourinho this season. But, when Spinazzola succumbed to an Achilles tendon rupture during Italy's quarterfinal match against Belgium, Roma could have easily just sat on their hands and hoped that young Riccardo Calafiori was ready to step up to the plate or that their handful of wily veteran defenders could slot into the left-back role for a few months.
However, rather than resting on their laurels, Tiago Pinto and Roma reached into Walter Sabatini's bag of tricks, plucking a little-known but incredibly intriguing South American talent out of thin air. Matías Viña may not be a household name to most Serie A fans, but with a résumé that includes over 80 professional appearances and titles in the Uruguayan and Brazilian leagues, Viña is remarkably polished for a kid a few months shy of his 24th birthday.
And moments ago, he was officially unveiled as Roma's latest signing of the summer:
"I have dreamed of playing in Europe since I was a child, and to be able to achieve that goal while playing in a Roma shirt is something that makes me very proud."— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) August 8, 2021
According to the official press release, the terms of the deal are as follows:
Vina, 23, arrives from Brazilian side Palmeiras - becoming the club’s third signing of the summer.
The left-back joins Roma for an initial fee of €13 million.
The transfer agreement also includes a number of additional performance-related clauses, while Palmeiras will also retain the right to a percentage of any eventual profit resulting from a future sale of the player.
The Uruguay international has signed a contract with the Giallorossi that runs until 30 June 2026.
On his new home, Viña spoke about his long-held desire to play in Europe:
I am pleased to be wanted by a prestigious club like Roma
I have dreamed of playing in Europe since I was a child, and to be able to achieve that goal while playing in a Roma shirt is something that makes me very proud.
I can’t wait to join up with the coach and my new teammates, and then to run out onto the pitch in front of our fans.
Roma GM Tiago Pinto then commented on the immediacy of this transfer in the wake of the injury to Leonardo Spinazzola:
The arrival of Matias Vina allows us to address, in the best possible way, the gap in our squad that was created after Leonardo Spinazzola suffered his unfortunate injury,” said Tiago Pinto, the club’s General Manager.
At just 23 years of age Matias has already won trophies at a number of different clubs, first in Uruguay and then in Brazil, including the Copa Libertadores and Brazilian Cup.
He is a player with a winning mentality and great potential to improve even further.
Due to the procedural delays that led to Viña’s official unveiling today, he’s missed nearly the entirety of Roma’s pre-season program but once he’s up to speed, he should see the majority of minutes at left-back in Spinazzola’s absence.
Viña will join up with his new club once they return to Italy from their summer sojourn in Portugal and Spain; he'll wear the number five shirt this season. We'll have a closer look at what Viña brings to the table this coming week—don’t miss it!