?With Daniele De Rossi departing the Stadio Olimpico this summer, Roma are in need of a new hero.
The good news is they might already have one among their ranks, in the form of local boy Lorenzo Pellegrini.
The 23-year-old has been a regular in the side since re-joining the club from Sassuolo two years ago, and has also been capped ten times by Italy’s senior side.
Now, he’s showing just how good he is at the Under-21 European Championships. But how much do we actually know about the young midfielder once linked with Manchester United?
Well, if you don’t know, we’re here to cover you – with five key facts…
He Lives & Breathes Roma
?There’s something about a Roman wearing the Roma shirt, isn’t there?
Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi are two other names that immediately spring to mind, while Alberto Aquilani and Alessandro Florenzi have also represented their home-town club with distinction.
Pellegrini is the latest star to emerge from the eternal city. He joined Roma’s academy in 2007 and made his first team debut in 2015 at the age of just 18. After a two-year spell at fellow Serie A outfit Sassuolo, he was re-signed by I Giallorossi – for a fee of
?There’s a special bond between the Roma supporters and Roman players. It’s a great source of pride for a club that have only celebrated three league titles in their 92-year history, with much of their success homegrown.
“When you go out there on the pitch it is like you are also representing your entire family, who all grew up wearing these colours.”
He Can Play Anywhere in Midfield
A key part of Pellegrini’s importance to his club is his versatility. He played at centre-back in his youth, but his vision, technical skills and energetic nature meant that he was a natural in the centre of midfield.
He can be deployed as a Mezzala, as well as a free roaming T
He’s a Wanted Man
His form for Roma has attracted a lot of interest from across Europe. After ?turning down Juventus and AC Milan? to re-join Roma in 2017, he’s impressed in his 70 appearances for I Giallorossi – but alarmingly, his contract has a release clause of just
?Among those tracking the young star are
He Has Represented Italy at Various Youth Levels
Those appearances follow a string of appearances at various levels, including two Under-21 European Championships. Pellegrini is among the current crop of Italy’s rising stars, and has previously shown his class at tournament level – scoring a bicycle kick against Denmark a couple of years ago.
After this summer, Pellegrini will be back with the senior side – where he could have a long and prosperous future alongside a raft of emerging talents.
He’s Part of Italy’s New ‘Golden’ Generation
Italy’s under 21 squad is unbelievable and the amount of midfield talent they have adds to that. Roma pair Lorenzo Pellegrini and Nicolo Zaniolo have both been capped for the senior squad alongside Rolando Mandragora and Nicolo Barella.
— ALFutbol (@ALFutbol2) June 20, 2019
Alongside the likes of Federico Chiesa, Nicolo Zaniolo, Moise Kean, Nicolo Barella, Sandro Tonali, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Patrick Cutrone among others, Italy’s future lies in the palms of exciting hands – time will tell whether these wonderkids can elevate Italy back to the top of world football.