For as long as I’ve followed the Giallorossi, the club has never had an issue finding talented center-backs. Whether it’s Marquinhos, Mehdi Benatia, Kostas Manolas, Leandro Castan, Antonio Rüdiger, or Roger Ibañez, finding replacement defenders has been the least of Roma’s problems. The club has also never found it too hard to find the proper balance in defensive partners; one calm, collected center-back paired with one who is, well, probably crazy. Since his 2019 transfer from Atalanta, the role of “crazy center-back” has largely been filled by Gianluca Mancini, and his success in that role of stopper with a screw loose has now resulted in a contract extension for the Italian.
The 2021-2022 season was an excellent one for Mancini, even if you remove the fact that he played a key role in Roma winning its first European trophy in decades. Over the course of the season, Mancini won 141 aerial duels and performed 105 successful tackles; his 12.5 pressures per ninety placed him in the 89th percentile for center-backs; his 0 errors leading to a shot per ninety through all competitions is nearly as impressive. At age 26, Mancini is still on the young side for a defender, and if Roma decides to hold on to him, Roger Ibañez, and Marash Kumbulla for the long term, the club will likely have the necessary depth to succeed at a Champions League level for the long term. Even if Roma ends up selling one of Ibañez or Kumbulla, or Chris Smalling somehow ends up declining faster than anyone could anticipate, the fact that Mancini is now under contract for the long-term will give Roma and José Mourinho some peace of mind in defense; there will be some form of continuity there going forward.
Mancini certainly still has room to grow during this next contract; his tendency to pick up yellow card frequently (one practically every other match, to be precise) can be frustrating. Despite that, he’s still a class defender, and one who looks set to become a major fixture of the Italian national team as Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, and others enter the twilight phase of their careers. When you have a player like that at your club, you do what you can to keep him around, and Tiago Pinto has certainly made the right choice to keep Mancini under contract until the age of 31.
Here’s the club’s statement on Mancini’s extension. Congratulazioni, Gianluca, and let’s hope you can continue to drive Roma towards success for years to come!
The club is delighted to announce that defender Gianluca Mancini has signed a new long-term contract extension with the club.
Mancini, 26, has agreed a new five-year deal with Roma that runs until 30 June 2027. The Italy international was an almost ever-present for coach Jose Mourinho last season, making 45 appearances for the club in all competitions.
“To think that, brick by brick, I have slowly built such a close bond with this club, this city and these fans is an incredible feeling for me,” Mancini said. “Alongside the victory in the Europa Conference League, I see this new contract as a new starting point for us: continuing to grow and improve, together as a group, is the sole objective I have in mind now.”
Mancini joined the Giallorossi in the summer of 2019. Since then he has made 127 appearances in all competitions and scored seven goals for the club – with victory in the Europa Conference League last May becoming his first major piece of silverware in Giallorosso.
“Over time Gianluca has carved out an important role for himself both on and off the pitch,” said the club’s General Manager, Tiago Pinto. “He’s achieved that thanks to his willingness to sacrifice for others, a desire to never hide behind excuses and his own qualities as a leader. We know that he is a warrior on the pitch and we want to build from that attitude as we aim to continue making progress.”