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Reports: Roma to Sign Brazilian Midfielder Borini, Thaisa Announcement Delayed

Alessandro Spugna’s last-minute reinforcements are the Brazilian trio of Borini, Thaisa and the returning Andressa.

2018 Tournament Of Nations: Japan v Brazil Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images

Alessandro Spugna’s Roma women have just finished their summer Terminillo-based ritoro yesterday and are ready to kick off their pre-season fixture calendar in today’s friendly against Napoli. Spugna had an initial 22-strong squad available to him for pre-season, but the Roma women’s coach will soon be able to count on a trio of experienced Brazilian reinforcements if the latest reports are accurate.

That’s because a host of sites—including L Football—report that Roma has reached an agreement to sign Madrid CFF’s Brazilian veteran Borini, who could be officially announced in tandem with fellow new signing Thaisa and Andressa’s return from Brazil’s Olympic campaign.

Roma Agree to Terms with Borini—But Where Will She Play?

Madrid CFF V EDF Logrono - Primera Division Femenina Photo by Oscar J. Barroso / Europa Press Sports via Getty Images

We can’t pretend we’ve watched any of the Spanish Liga Iberdrola in recent seasons, and apparently neither have FBRef as they don’t keep track of Spain’s league. But one look at Borini’s record with Madrid C.F.F. on other sites and it’s clear that, despite her playing a significant part of her career as an attacking midfielder, Borini is no goalscorer. She’s racked up no league goals for Madrid during her time at the club and looks like a player who’s matured late as she’s just beginning to enjoying the prime form of her career.

That’s because, despite the numbers, Borini’s time in Spain (including previous club Tenerife) did enough to finally earn her a call-up to senior international duty with Brazil. Though she didn’t end up making the Olympics 2020 squad, Borini’s six caps have all been earned after she entered her thirties. She’s listed as an all-around midfielder and even a part-time right-back for her country, so it leaves us asking: Where do Roma plan to play Borini?

With Roma currently only holding three full-backs in rotation for two spots this coming season, it’s entirely plausible Borini could see time as a substitute full-back for Spugna’s Giallorosse. But the utility player could also make herself available for any of the midfield spots, while bringing experience from a more competitive league and helping a fellow new Brazilian arrival to settle into the Eternal City.

Roma’s Thaisa Announcement Hit By Delays

Real Madrid Women v EDF Logrono - Primera Iberdrola Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Roma has been trying to sign another Brazilian veteran from the more glamorous side of Madrid (Real) for some weeks now. Multiple reports confirm that Roma’s imminent announcement of Thaisa is very much still on, despite being delayed by two setbacks.

First, Thaisa, having flown into Italy from abroad, had to observe a mandatory period of isolation in the Rome district of Acqua Acetosa as the club leased out an apartment to help the Brazilian respect Italy’s Covid-19 protocols. But a further setback came as Thaisa’s work permit is taking longer than expected right now, but that was the case with Andressa’s arrival to Rome back in 2019.

We’re more excited about Thaisa’s confirmation as a Roma player because, unlike Borini, Thaisa has already shown the impact she can make in Serie A Femminile with former club A.C. Milan. During her lone season with the Rossonere, Thaisa not only helped to build a formidable Milan midfield but even pitched in with a few goals (which we don’t expect to be one of her responsibilities as Roma’s new defensive midfielder in the coming season) as Milan finished above Roma in the table back in 2018-2019.

The added bonus is Manuela Giugliano was Thaisa’s Milan teammate that season, so the Brazilian international veteran can count on both Giugliano and long-time Brazil teammate Andressa as familiar faces in the coming 2021-2022 campaign.

Brazil Knocked Out the Olympics, Andressa Set for Rome Return

Football Serie A woman Roma-Sassuolo Photo by Massimo Insabato/Archivio Massimo Insabato/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

Andressa may have only been called-up as one of Brazil’s reserve players in this summer’s 2020 Olympics campaign, but she played a major role in her country’s run to the quarter-finals.

Not only was Andressa the first name off the bench at half-time in most games, but her 2 goals in 4 appearances at this summer’s tournament proved crucial to the scoreline on several occasions. However, it all came to an end against Canada as Andressa—usually deadly from the penalty spot—uncharacteristically missed her penalty in a 4-3 shootout loss to Canada after both nations were deadlocked at 0-0 for 120 minutes of play.

Roma’s most balanced playmaker and set-piece specialist will have to bounce back from the disappointment of that quarter-final defeat, as her club needs her return in time for the new league season.

Given all the travel norms around flights into Italy right now, seeing Andressa join up with the rest of her Roma teammates in time for the club’s pre-season tournament in France remains unlikely. But we should see Andressa ready for Roma’s first Serie A game, where she has to convince new signing Benedetta Glionna that Andressa is still the number one free-kick taker at this club.

Meanwhile, Glionna (who famously scored a hat-trick of freekicks against Juventus last season and is the league’s most prolific player from outside of the box) has the entire stretch of pre-season to convince her teammates otherwise. It’ll be interesting to see who pulls rank in that particular duel this coming season.

While we wait for these signings to become official, look for our women's preview to start next week!