Having won the league with three weeks to spare and wrapping up the season with a healthy 13-point cushion at the top of the table, the women of Roma ran roughshod over Serie A Femminile this season. Arguably the most complete team in the league, Head of Women's Football Betty Bavagnoli did a masterful job constructing a championship-winning side, adding top-shelf talents like Valentina Giacinti, Carina Wenninger, and Moeka Minami to an already impressive squad last summer.
Thanks to these additions and incumbents like Elisa Bartoli, Manuela Giugliano, and Andressa Alves, among many others, the Giallorosse not only claimed the first league title in club history, but they also advanced to the quarterfinals in the Champions League, in their first-ever appearance, no less.
And now the newly crowned champions of Italy are looking to extend that excellence into the transfer market. Earlier today, Bavagnoli unveiled the club's first signing of the summer: Japanese midfielder Saki Kuamagai.
“We’re so pleased and proud to have Saki here as she wants to bring her qualities to our plans going forward as a club.”— AS Roma Women (@ASRomaWomen) June 5, 2023
- Betty Bavagnoli, Head of Women’s Football
️➡️ https://t.co/kltaWfmfsq#ASRomaWomen #ASRoma pic.twitter.com/wDiVnGIVQt
Kumagai, 32 years old, joins the Giallorosse from Bayern Munich, where she spent the past two seasons following a four-year stint with Lyon. To call Kumagai one of the most decorated signings in club history would be a massive understatement.
With five Champions League titles, four domestic league titles, a 2011 World Cup winner's medal, and the 2019 AFC Women's Footballer of the Year award, Kumagai's resumé needs no embellishments. Oh, and she was named to the Guardian's top 100 female footballers list in 2022.
On her new midfielder, Bavagnoli was incredibly excited:
"We're thrilled to welcome Saki Kumagai to the club," said the Head of Women's Football, Betty Bavagnoli. "She's a player who's made history with Japan as their captain.
"We're so pleased and proud to have Saki here as she wants to bring her qualities to our plans going forward as a club. She's always set an example for all women in our sport, and she'll make a key contribution to our development pathway."
Kumagai, who can play in midfield and defense, signed a two-year deal with the Giallorosse earlier today and will join her national teammate Minami as Roma looks to repeat as league champions.
While Roma has no glaring holes on the roster, Bavagnoli will likely make every effort to ensure that her squad is deeper, stronger, and better than they were in 2022-2023.
A scary thought for the rest of the league.