Fiumicino today witnessed the tenth man to parade through its arrivals lounge this summer, doing the one thing that is camera-worthy in Rome’s main airport: walking around holding a scarf on demand. Daniel Fuzato won’t be the most headline-grabbing of Roma’s ten summer signings, but he may take the honour of being the last one through the doors. That is, unless something really spectacular happens in the mercato with another Brazilian goalkeeper forcing Roma into signing yet more players to save face over that loss.
But until that day, it’s looking likely the club has settled on transfers in. So who is Fuzato and how much of a difference can a third keeper make at a club?
Reports on Fuzato make it look like Roma have done their homework on signing not just Bodgan Lobont’s successor, but eventually Alisson’s replacement in the years to come. Fuzato is reported to be very adept with his feet, and equally confident at making saves from both long and short-range, while acting as a launchpad for his team’s counters and taking pressure off his teammates by helping break through the opposition’s press... all that stuff modern goalkeepers are expected to do.
Alisson needed a year under Savorani and dodging Spalletti inviting baseless comments over his ability with his feet, to show what he could do as Serie A’s groundbreaking sweeper keeper. Alisson’s weakness was also known to be how he handled mid-range shots, often making dangerous parries right into an opposition striker’s path in the box. But Brazil’s number 1 has added cat-like agility to his imposing frame in a seemingly impossible marriage of talent and skill today. Apparently Fuzato has none of those weaknesses to mask over, and he signs on with Roma for 5 years while he gets to learn in Alisson’s slipstream.
All of this is hearsay since I personally have never seen Fuzato play - not even in an obscure Youtube highlights vid yet. He has yet to make a senior professional appearance and has made one solitary appearance at Brazilian U-20 international level before turning 21. It’s also worth nothing that, unless he has some Italian passport that’s yet to be reported, Monchi took up a non-EU spot to bring in Fuzato. So the club has to be fairly sold on his talent to take that risk.
Roma was reported to have beaten both Fiorentina and Bordeaux to Fuzato’s signature, and only needed to hand Palmeiras 500,000 euros for the honour. Facing the prospect of letting Fuzato go for free this coming winter of 2018, Palmeiras preferred to sell him instead. Fuzato’s Brazilian agent is reported to be Doni’s brother, and the ex-Roma keeper helped to steer him to the capital club.
At 6 foot 2 inches tall, and having already been pictured wearing the captain’s armband for his youth side, Fuzato ticks a couple of familiar Monchi boxes in terms of physique and mental character.
The Brazilian talent will undergo his medical at Villa Stuart tomorrow, rubbing shoulders with both Edin Dzeko and Kevin Strootman as they arrive back from their holidays for medical checkups before pre-season training. No pressure on Fuzato at his first day on the job, then.
He wraps up what has been a steadily successful ‘Io Ci Sono’ season-ticket campaign from the club. Roma is returning to a better relationship with her season-ticket holders (the reported 21,000+ season ticket sales of this July are already more than what the club was sitting on by the beginning of September last season) after the damage done during the plexiglass-Curva Sud years of 2015-2017.
Next week will also see the public sale of the Champions’ League tickets to follow, helping the club make back some of the spending in this pretty lavish summer spree so far.