As I sit here and type this, I can still hardly believe it: Stephan El Shaarawy, one of the most electric players to ever set foot in Trigoria, has just resigned with AS Roma. Two years after leaving in a shock move to Shanghai Shenhua in the Chinese League, El Shaarawy has returned to the sight of his greatest professional successes, signing a new two-and-a-half-year deal with Roma.
It's a transfer many of us have been dreaming of since he left in the summer of 2019, and it's one that nearly came to pass last fall when El Shaarawy would have been a Roma player once again if the club had more time to spin off Diego Perotti and register El Shaarawy's transfer before the deadline passed.
And that sense of regret and longing was only made worse as El Shaarawy never really left Rome, splitting his time between the Eternal City and Dubai, training on his own and with the Italian Nation Team during international breaks.
Well, fret no more, my friends—he's back!
Moments ago, the club officially unveiled El Shaarawy as a Roma player for the second time, signing El Shaarawy on a free transfer after he was able to negotiate an end to his deal with Shanghai. While the details of the contract weren't made public, rumor has it that El Shaarawy's new deal runs through 2024 and will reportedly pay him €3.5 million per season plus a further €1 million in potential bonuses.
On his return to Roma, El Shaarawy spoke about his bond with the club:
When I arrived in Rome the first time I realised how little time it takes for this club and this city to make a deep impression on you
When I left I quickly realised that both would always be in my heart. Now I cannot wait to be once again representing this club and these colours.
Roma GM Tiago Pinto, for whom this was his first official signing as Roma's new transfer chief, spoke about El Shaarawy's quality and commitment to the club:
Everyone knows the quality El Shaarawy has, but few are aware of the full extent of his desire to come back and wear the Roma shirt once more – and it is that desire and belief in our project that made all the difference
Today we are delighted to welcome him back to the club once again
El Shaarawy will wear his customary number 92 shirt and may have an outside chance at suiting up tomorrow against Verona.
Welcome back, SES!