Lorenzo Pellegrini has finally signed a new contract with Roma to commit to the club until 2026.
A native of the city of Rome, Pellegrini has risen through the ranks to go from captain of the Primavera to captain of the first team.
After making his senior debut in March 2015, Pellegrini earned his stripes in a two-season spell with Sassuolo before returning to represent his boyhood colours.
Since then, the number seven has grown in importance, ability and maturity, eventually succeeding Edin Dzeko as club captain in January 2021.
Pellegrini’s contract was due to expire in 2022, putting Roma in a risky position – not least because it contained a €30m release clause. It remains remarkable that no club activated it, but thankfully there is no longer reason to worry.
As per the new agreement, Pellegrini will be a Roma player until at least 2026.
He told the club website: “It’s impossible to put in words. It’s what I always wanted.
“I think it’s come at the right time. It was time to tie my future to the club of my city. There could be no better feeling.
“Right from the start, the owners, Tiago [Pinto] and the coach made me feel important. That means so much to a player. I try to repay them by giving 110% every day, in training and matches, constantly striving to improve, because if you want to win something you can’t rest on your laurels.
“We’re improving all the time, both individually and as a team. I’m sure we’ll do well.
“A while ago I already mentioned that I sensed something different in Trigoria this season, in the dressing room, on the pitch. It feels different. That’s down to the coach and his staff and the way we feel going out to train.
“I always come in for training happy and proud to be here. I’m delighted to be able to show that by signing this new contract because I believe 100% in Roma.”
To date, Pellegrini has made 161 appearances for his hometown team, contributing 27 goals and 36 assists. Last season, he provided 11 goals and 10 assists in all competitions – the first time he ever managed double figures in both categories; this term he already has five goals and one assist under Jose Mourinho’s guidance.
Mourinho said: “It’s what I’ve already said before. He’s a quality player, a talisman, a Rome kid and a Roma fan who has grown up here and become captain here.
“From the moment I heard the ownership say they didn’t want to lose him, from the moment Lorenzo told me face-to-face that he would definitely stay, even before any agreement, then from that moment it was all part of a process.
“It was in the hands of [general manager] Tiago Pinto and Lorenzo’s agent. It took a few weeks, but we knew it would finish as it has done.
“It’s the right decision for the club and also for Lorenzo. We talked about it. For us as a club stability is important. I am here for three years; he’s here for good now.
“There’s a tough core here, an Italian one too – [Gianlua] Mancini, [Bryan] Cristante, Pellegrini – so there’s a core there from which you can also build the right mentality.
“We are united. We are working together and, eventually, we will all get to where we want to be.”Embed from Getty Images
Pinto added: “From the moment I started work here a key target was to agree a contract extension with Lorenzo. For that reason this is a very significant day for me.
“Lorenzo is the perfect example of the core characteristics of our sporting project; not just because of his evident ability as a player but also because, being a Rome-born, Roma fan who was developed within our academy system, he shares a bond with the club that makes him a pillar of what we are building.
“No sporting project can be put in place without a clear and strong identity underpinning it.”