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Official: Roma Signs Houssem Aouar

Roma's first official signing of the summer is free agent midfielder Houssem Aouar, who signs a five-year deal with the club earlier today.

AS Roma Unveil New Signing Houssem Aouar Photo by Fabio Rossi/AS Roma via Getty Images

The worst kept secret in the City of Seven Hills is a secret no longer: Roma has officially signed Houssem Aouar on a free transfer. After months of speculation, fueled in large part by Roma's penchant (okay, need) for free agents, Aouar has been linked with a move to the Italian capital for over a year now, first popping up on our radar last June.

Aouar, who will turn 25 later this month, arrives in Roma after a seven-year stint with Lyon in Ligue 1, who snapped up Aouar when he was just a teenager. Over those seven campaigns, Aouar scored 41 goals and provided 34 assists in 233 appearances in all competitions, playing nearly every midfield role imaginable while also making intermittent appearances as a forward.

Aouar, who is nominally listed as an attacking midfielder, isn't your classic number 10, so he won't necessarily lighten the creative load on Lorenzo Pellegrini and Paulo Dybala. But what he lacks in actual playmaking, he more than makes up for in ball movement, as he ranked in the 85th percentile or higher in a host of passing categories, according to Football Reference, including progressive passes, passes into the final third, and long passes completed.

And moments ago, Aouar was officially unveiled as a Roma player by General Manager Tiago Pinto, who signed the midfielder to a five-year deal.

On his decision to sign with Roma, Aouar cited the club's history and fanbase as reasons for signing with the Giallorossi:

“I’m very happy to have signed for Roma, because they’re a great club with a great history. I think it’s the right project for me, with a big team, quality players and a unique fanbase. I’m now a Giallorossi player and I’m ready to go.”

On his new midfielder, GM Tiago Pinto spoke to Aouar's technical abilities:

“Aouar is a young player who’s already made more than 250 professional appearances. He has technical quality and the prerequisites to keep getting better,” said Tiago Pinto, the club’s General Manager, Football.

“His desire to come to Roma, despite having attracted interest from several top clubs, is a source of satisfaction for us all.”

Aouar, who will wear the #22 shirt for Roma next season, adds depth and quality to a midfield that looked increasingly fatigued as the season wore on.

Stick with us this summer as we continue to track Roma's transfer market dealings. In the meantime, let us know what you think about Aouar's addition.