Blog: Roma’s Youth Stockpile

By: John Solano (@Solano_56)

Few teams around Europe have been as active as A.S Roma the last two and a half years during the transfer window, from top talent such as Kevin Strootman and Mehdi Benatia to some not-so-great signings such as Jose Angel, the Giallorossi have been trying to build a squad that is sustainable for now and into the future.

Lost in all the transfer hooplah seems to be the fruitful crop of young talent that Roma seem to be harvesting. Names such as Matteo Politano and Elio Capradossi seem to be forgotten when you have big players arriving at Trigoria, but while these players are not grabbing the headlines, they will surely play a vital role in the success and growth of Roma. Here are the names of some young players who will, hopefully, be seen in giallorosso sooner than later and who are tipped play an important role in the future successes of A.S Roma.

Matteo Politano (Winger)
Pescara (22 Apps., 5 Goals, 2 Assists)
Let’s start with the brightest of the bunch: Matteo Politano. Born in 1993, Politano has been with A.S Roma’s youth system from the beginning. Initially deployed as a midfielder with Roma’s Primavera, Politano was pushed up to an advanced position on the wing last season at Perugia and he hasn’t looked back. Sent to Pescara this season on a co-ownership deal, Politano has arguably been Pescara’s most dangerous player going forward this season. While the Abruzzo-based club has had an extremely disappointing season (they just fired their manager Pasquale Marino within the last week), Politano has exceeded expectations. Politano’s strengths include his finishing and dribbling skills while he has an immense tactical acumen, similar to Adem Ljajic. Roma will likely buy-back the remaining 50% of the player in the summer and loan him out to a provincial Serie A side, since the player has shown he is ready for Serie A.
Estimated Arrival to Roma: 2 Years

Marco D’Alessandro (Winger)
Cesena (24 Apps., 3 Goals, 2 Assists)
From one winger to another, Marco D’Alessandro is the embodiment of an out and out winger. I’ve had the opportunity to see D’Alessandro play with Cesena on three different occasions and I’ve walked away impressed every single time. D’Alessandro, a 23 year old, possesses deadly speed and pace that is not commonly seen around Italy. D’Alessandro, who initially began with Lazio’s youth system before switching allegiances to Roma’s, has been an automatic inclusion on the right side of Cesena’s 3-5-2 formation for the last two seasons. While he does not often find himself with many opportunities to score, D’Alessandro’s ability to get into open spaces and draw defenders is his strong-suit. Parma inquired about the availability of the winger during the winter transfer window but Roma refused to cancel his loan at Cesena. Like Politano, a loan to a small Serie A club next season is likely for the player.
Estimated Arrival to Roma: 2 Years

Elio Capradossi (Center Back)
Roma Primavera (10 Apps., 3 Goals)
Born in 1996, Capradossi took the U-17 World Cup by storm over the summer. The Roma youth product started for the Italy U-17 set-up that conceded only two goals in the group stage. What “wowed” people the most of Capradossi’s performances were his sheer physical presence in the area and his ability to position himself to prevent danger without having to make a risky tackle. Roma will likely take their time with Capradossi. After proving his worth this season for the Primavera, Capradossi will likely be sent on loan to either a Serie B or Lega Pro squad for the next two to three seasons, ensuring that he is not rushed into the first team set-up and is given to adapt.
Estimated Arrival to Roma: 3 Years

Luca Antei (Center Back)
Sassuolo (15 Apps., 1 Assist)
No other prospect I’ve discussed is as ready to play for Roma as Luca Antei. Antei (21), has had exceptional performances this season in Serie A with Sassuolo, who he is co-owned by. While he is not good in the air nor is he as physically strong as other center backs, Antei makes up for his lack of physical presence with an incredible sense of awareness and anticipation (he leads all of Serie A with 4.8 tackles per match and 3.6 interceptions per match). While he has recently fallen out of favor with manager Alberto Malesani (who will likely be fired soon), Antei has proven that he has the ability to compete with the best among Serie A. His future is likely directly tied to the salvation of Sassuolo. If Sassuolo are relegated back to Serie B, Roma will likely buy the remaining 50% of Antei and either keep him for depth for European competitions or they may look to renew a co-ownership deal with a newly promoted Serie A club. Either way, Antei’s future is close to Roma.
Estimated Arrival to Roma: 1-2 Years

The Editor of, John has been covering Italian football as a freelance journalist for over 10 years and has appeared in various publications including,, and ESPN.