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Ranking Roma’s Youth #6: Edoardo Bove

Roma’s baby-faced midfielder looks set to be a consistent part of José Mourinho’s rotations this season. The real question is: can he force his way into the starting eleven?

AS Roma UEFA Conference League Victory Parade Photo by Fabio Rossi/AS Roma via Getty Images

Edoardo Bove has been a part of Chiesa di Totti’s youth countdowns before, and while the hype for Bove has never been in the stratosphere, he’s always been thought of as an impressive prospect, a player with a chance to truly become a part of the senior squad. With Roma’s season just about to start, it looks as if the first step on Bove’s road to Serie A stardom has been achieved, as the 20-year-old has been confirmed as a part of José Mourinho’s plans in midfield.

After proving himself in spot minutes last season, the real question with Bove is no longer if he can play at a Serie A level but if he can use this season to vault himself into the Giallorossi starting eleven. If he can, expect him to shoot up the youth rankings by the time the summer of 2023 rolls around.

Number Six: Edoardo Bove

Age: 20

Position: Midfielder

Shades Of: Daniele De Rossi, Patrick Vieira

Who Is He?

Bove is a true Roma academy grad, born in Rome in May of 2002 and a member of the youth setup for the Giallorossi since he was ten years old. In a recent Corriere dello Sport interview, Bove spoke on the meaning that playing for his boyhood club provides him, saying that “For me it’s an unbelievable emotion to be a Roman and a Romanista and be able to play for this club. You know when the fans sang the hymn at the Olimpico without the music? I got chills, as if I were in the stands with them. Trigoria is my second home.” Quite an endorsement of being a Romanista, if you ask me.

With his heartwarming story as a local boy moving up the ranks of his favorite club’s youth setup in hand, Bove notched his first appearance with the senior team towards the end of the 2020-2021 season; however, it was during the 2021-2022 season that Edoardo solidified his role as a piece for the future in José Mourinho’s setup. Although he only notched one goal in his thirteen appearances last season across the Europa Conference League and Serie A, he quite simply belonged on the pitch in a way that most recent Primavera grads don’t, even the ones who go on to become superstars.

This was largely due to the fact that many of his appearances were as a substitute, but even still, there have been consistent rumblings that the young midfielder had impressed Mourinho enough in training to make himself a part of Roma’s midfield rotation going forward. With more established midfielders like Gonzalo Villar and Jordan Veretout being shown the door, the fact that Mourinho has decided to keep Edoardo around is certainly a statement.

What Can He Do?

Bove started out as a box-to-box midfielder with an eye for attack along the lines of Atalanta-era Bryan Cristante or peak Jordan Veretout, but his recent exploits with the Primavera and the senior squad have confirmed that the club sees him in a more defensive role moving forward. His ball-winning ability has become his calling card, and although he can find success anywhere in the midfield, that deep-lying role is what garnered him his recent extension with his boyhood club, and I’d be shocked if Roma switched his training regimen around now. Another key element of what he can do is his will to succeed; here’s what we wrote about that when we gave him an honorable mention in our 2021 countdown:

Recurring injuries hit Bove’s career for the last two years, yet he’s come back more fierce, more hungry, and fighting more duels each time...

He’s not the most talented player of his or any other generation, but he’s got an iron-clad will that few (if any) of his peers can match. That’s exactly the attitude that Mourinho likes running through the spine of his team, and its not surprising to us that Bove has been mentioned in the media as potentially being “off” the transfer market in Roma’s eyes now, after the pre-season Bove just spent training and playing under Mourinho.

What Can He Become?

As we said in Giacomo Faticanti’s piece for this year’s countdown, the easiest point of comparison for Bove is Daniele De Rossi, both in the sense that they are born and bred Romans and in the sense that Bove’s play-style at the senior level has mimicked that of Rome’s perpetual capitano futuro. Bove may not wear the #16 like Faticanti, but if he can regularly make his mark on the senior squad this season, it might not be long before he joins Lorenzo Pellegrini as one of the many Roman-born midfielders to follow in De Rossi’s footsteps.

With Roma’s midfield going from strength to strength this mercato, Bove will once again need to use his iron will to force himself into the conversation for more minutes. Call me crazy, but I have faith he can do it, and who knows, maybe he’ll be the next Roman starter for the Giallorossi.