Well, we saw Bianda get scarfed up yesterday and the his official confirmation was all over the web today but I felt like he deserved his own CdT confirmation post for his introduction alone:
It makes me like him, already. What a contrast in display of emotion compared to Ivan Marcano’s rendition of Terminator.
The young Bianda is actually Monchi’s youngest ever signing at Roma (or ever? I’m not sure if the record stretches that far) but the eventual money paid to seal Bianda’s move suggests that Roma’s sporting director wasn’t playing when he claimed Bianda would be given a fair assessment at senior squad action during the pre-season ritiro (which kicks off at the end of next week). Maybe it’s because Bianda (just about) passes Monchi’s height test at 6 foot tall.
Roma handed Lens an initial 6 million euros for Bianda, with a further 5 million potentially added on in ‘various bonuses’ according to Football Italia and various other sources. There’s also the usual 15% future sale fee to Lens in the deal, should Roma re-sell - an outcome highly likely given the young Frenchman’s age and talent.
The potential 11 million spent on securing Bianda is effectively the same amount of it took to bring Juan Jesus to the club - who must be sweating on proving himself in pre-season now, such are the flames of competition that Roma is trying to keep fanning within the senior squad.
Though we arguably have the second deepest squad in the land in terms of both quality and quantity, it is true that many of the names Roma have taken on are either very young or punts on a player redeeming their career gone off the rails. A lot can go right, but Monchi has also stacked the decks to cover a lot potentially going wrong. As one Roma fan commented on Twitter: “Feels like next season could go very well or very bad.”
“I spoke with Monchi on the phone and he immediately put me at ease,” Bianda told Roma TV. “I was convinced that it was here where I had to be, because Roma is a very big club with a family vibe. There’s a culture of winning and work and that’s what made me immediately love the project.”
(Ok, at this point, is Bianda really clear on what club he’s joining? But I digress...)
“I have to be patient because I’m young and I’m here to learn,” Bianda continued to the club’s official channel, “maybe at the beginning I won’t play but that’s not a problem. I’m here to learn alongside the other defenders like Fazio, Manolas, Juan Jesus just to name a few. I’m here to learn and each match I would just be happy to be on the pitch.”
It’s hard not to be optimistic about the names inside the game who really believe in Bianda’s potential already. Whether you want to label him the new Marquinhos or use the Lens connection to call him the new Varane, I’m looking forward to season him in pre-season. Hell, it’s refreshing just to be able to say I’m looking forward to a pre-season where all key parts of the squad are already here. Only Alisson, Fazio and Kolarov will be missing due to either World Cup commitments or well-earned extended holidays.