Tommaso Milanese has become the latest in a long line of academy products to make their senior debut for Roma.
With the side 3-0 up against CFR Cluj on Thursday, Paulo Fonseca gave the 18-year-old midfielder an opportunity to come on as a reward for his positive performances with the Primavera recently.
Milanese earned the right to play, doing the simple things well in his short cameo. He even got an assist for Roma’s fifth and final goal, setting up Pedro.
That assist was one of 13 passes he completed with a 100 per cent success rate.
While it was only a brief appearance, Milanese did not put a foot wrong – and he recorded some impressive statistics in the process.
Here are some of the things he did which Roma have not seen for a while.
First player to get an assist on his Roma debut since 2018
It’s one thing for a player to score on their debut, but for some reason, making an assist in such an appearance seems to be more rare.
In fact, nobody has done so for Roma in the last two years. The last player to set up a goal on their debut was another academy graduate, Luca Pellegrini.
The left-back, now at Juventus, provided for Aleksandar Kolarov in a 4-0 win over Frosinone on 26th September 2018.
First Roma academy graduate to debut at Stadio Olimpico under Fonseca
Since Fonseca took charge of Roma, the only academy graduate he has given a senior debut to is Riccardo Calafiori.
The left-back started the final game of last season, in an away win at Juventus. It remains his only appearance for the club to date, although he could add to it when he returns from a positive Covid-19 diagnosis.
Hence, Milanese has become the first player to debut at home under Fonseca.
First Roma player born after the club’s last Scudetto to play at Stadio Olimpico
Milanese and Calafiori are also the only two players so far to have played for Roma having been born after the last time the club won Serie A in 2001.
Once again, with Calafiori’s appearance being away, Milanese is the only player born after that title triumph to feature in a home game.
First teenager to make an assist for Roma since April 2019
Roma have had a youthful squad in recent years, but no teenager contributed to a goal for them last season.
Milanese ended their wait for someone yet to turn 20 to play his part in a goal by getting the assist for Pedro. The last teenager to record an assist for Roma was Justin Kluivert, back on 27th April 2019 in a win over Cagliari, when he was still 19.
First academy graduate to make his debut for Roma in Europe before Serie A since 2016
The good thing about the Europa League group stage is that it gives fringe players an opportunity to impress. However, it is still a big stage for youngsters to step on to.
That did not appear to faze Milanese, who is yet to even featured in a Serie A squad. He is the first academy graduate to make his Roma debut in a European competition before playing in the league since Riccardo Marchizza came on as a late substitute against Astra Giurgiu in a December 2016 Europa League draw.
Having been in every Europa League squad so far this season, Milanese may be hoping for more chances to impress.
“It’s an incredible feeling – I don’t have the words to describe it,” he told asroma.com after the game.
“To begin with I couldn’t really believe it was happening, but then I slowly got my head around it.
“I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep tonight!
“The coach told me to play calmly, to move the ball around patiently as I know how to do.
“I will keep working hard and I hope to get more chances in future.”