The players with the most goals in their first seasons at Roma

Roma have had many great goalscorers over the years, but some take more time to display their talents compared to others.

There have been several who have made an instant impression, though, hitting the ground running as soon as they joined the club.

Here’s a look back at every player to have scored 15 or more in their first year in these colours.

1. Tammy Abraham – 27 (2021-22)

Roma spent big to bring Tammy Abraham to the club as their new number nine in the summer of 2021. Fortunately, the investment paid off.

Abraham instantly won the fans over with his committed displays, and the goals followed. He scored six braces throughout the season – including against Atalanta and Lazio – and contributed nine goals to Roma’s Europa Conference League triumph.

Having hit double figures before Christmas, Abraham never lost momentum. The 27 goals he ended the season with were a personal best.

However, his form stagnated the following season, in which he failed to reach double figures before suffering a serious injury that would also deny him the opportunity to do so in his third season.

2. Rodolfo Volk – 24 (1928-29)

The first player to reach 100 goals for Roma, Rodolfo Volk provided nearly a quarter of that tally in his first season with the club.

Just 22 years old when he joined Roma for the second season in their history, Volk made an instant impression. After scoring on his debut against Legnano, he went on to reach a tally of 24 goals from his first year in Rome, outscoring all his new teammates.

Volk was not a one-season wonder, though. He backed up his positive start by scoring more than 20 goals in each of his next two campaigns with the club as well, famously scoring the first ever goal in the Derby Della Capitale and first goal at Campo Testaccio.

3. Vincenzo Montella – 21 (1999-00)

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Arriving in the same summer as coach Fabio Capello, Vincenzo Montella did not seem like the type of striker that the new boss favoured. But with his goalscoring ability, it did not matter.

Montella opened his account in the UEFA Cup first round and followed it up with another goal on the fourth matchday of the Serie A season 10 days later. From there, he did not look back.

Roma’s top scorer in the year before they won the Scudetto, Montella broke the 20-goal barrier for the fourth time in his career – and would go on to do so on one more occasion as he too became a centurion.

= Gabriel Batistuta – 21 (2000-01)

One year after bringing Montella to the club, Roma were on the lookout for another striker to take them to the next level. This time, they found someone who fit Capello’s ideal profile – and it was a match made in heaven.

Already established as one of the best strikers in the world, Gabriel Batistuta was in his thirties by the time he came to the capital, but was still in his prime. Roma broke their transfer record to sign him – a figure they wouldn’t match for nearly 20 years – and the investment paid off.

The Argentine’s goals were crucial as the club won the Serie A title in his first season. Fittingly, he scored the last goal of the season on a day of celebration against Parma.

Sadly, his form dropped off in his other two seasons in Rome, but his legacy was already secured.

= Romelu Lukaku – 21 (2023-24)

Previously a prolific scorer in Serie A during his original spell with Inter, even if his return there the season before Roma landed him was a bit underwhelming, Romelu Lukaku was a statement signing on loan for the 2023-24 campaign.

Originally reuniting with Jose Mourinho, Lukaku made a relatively rapid start to his Roma spell, reaching double figures of goals within 16 matches. Admittedly, it took him another 28 appearances to complete his next batch of 10 – and one-third of his season tally came in the Europa League – but he still ended up as one of only five players to ever surpass 20 goals for Roma in his debut season.

Beyond reach to keep on a permanent basis, Lukaku signed off at Stadio Olimpico with the winner against Genoa on the penultimate day of the season (he would be suspended for the last) that secured a sixth-place finish for Daniele De Rossi’s side.

6. Francisco Lojacono – 19 (1960-61)

After making his name in Italy with Vicenza and Fiorentina, Argentine-born ace Francisco Lojacono was given a chance by Roma.

It instantly worked. He scored 19 goals across all competitions in a debut season that culminated with the club’s only ever European trophy, the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.

Lojacono didn’t match his tally from his debut season in either of the other two years he spent in Rome combined. He remained an important player, but the impact he made to start with was the best chapter of his career with the club.

7. Danilo Michelini – 18 (1937-38)

Just 20 years old when he arrived at Roma, Danilo Michelini had shown promise with hometown club Lucchese. Roma were still waiting for their own young striker Amedeo Amadei to develop at this stage, so Michelini came in to offer more help in the present.

In doing so, he bridged the gap until future captain Amadei would be ready to take centre stage. Michelini made an instant impression by being the side’s top scorer in his debut year.

He only spent one more season with Roma, once again being their top scorer, before moving on to Torino. His longest spell with any club would come when he returned to Lucchese after the war, but two of his best years were spent in the capital.

= Paulo Dybala – 18 (2022-23)

Given a hero’s reception when he joined Roma after a trophy-laden, seven-year spell with Juventus, Paulo Dybala defied any doubters to outscore any of his new teammates in 2022-23.

His 18 goals in all competitions included 12 in Serie A, five in the Europa League and one in the Coppa Italia, often inspiring his side to better results. Indeed, he scored the last goal in Roma’s campaign, confirming their place in UEFA’s secondary tournament again rather than the tertiary Europa Conference League.

Despite a few minor injuries along the way, the supporting striker – who had resisted the temptation to become the club’s first number 10 since Francesco Totti when choosing his original shirt number – also assisted eight goals for Roma, despite their strikers struggling.

9. Pedro Manfredini – 17 (1959-60)

The highest-scoring South American in Roma history, Pedro Manfredini was an all-time great. Arriving on the back of Copa America success with Argentina, he would never play for his country again, but his new club got to benefit from his goalscoring talents.

Manfredini reached double figures of goals in each of his first four seasons in Italy. His second would be his most prolific, but his first was very strong as well, as he followed up a goal on his debut in the Coppa Italia with another four minutes into his league bow.

Braces against the likes of Lazio, Inter and Juventus made it a season to remember for the man affectionately known as Bigfoot.

= Marco Borriello – 17 (2010-11)

Marco Borriello had a nomadic career, playing for 15 different clubs over 18 years. Towards the middle of that adventure, Roma brought him in to add further competition up front.

He stayed on the books until 2015, but spent much of that time out on loan. His first season in the capital was his only full one with the club.

But it was a positive one, as he recorded 17 goals from 46 appearances – including four from eight in the Champions League despite Roma only reaching the Round of 16. Thus, he finished as the Giallorossi’s joint-top scorer that year along with Francesco Totti.

However, he would only add one more goal during his entire time with the club.

= Borja Mayoral – 17 (2020-21)

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To say that Borja Mayoral had to fend off questions of whether he saw himself as a goalscorer towards the start of his time with Roma, the amount he scored by the end of the campaign provided an answer.

Playing second fiddle to Edin Dzeko at first, Mayoral made the most of his opportunities in the Europa League. Eventually, he started as many games in all competitions in 2020-21 as Dzeko.

Many of his goals came against weaker sides, but you can only score against what is in front of you. By doing so at the rate he did, the Real Madrid loanee outlined himself as one of Roma’s best backup strikers in recent memory. It only really lasted one season, though.

12. Arne Selmosson – 16 (1958-59)

After arriving from rivals Lazio, it was essential for Arne Selmosson to make a good first impression to win over his new fans. The Swedish striker certainly achieved that.

Forming part of a strong attack, Selmosson was Roma’s joint most-used player in Serie A in his first season on the other side of the capital’s divide. His first goal came on matchday five against Juventus, but the most significant came five games later, when he scored against his former club Lazio.

In doing so, he became the first player to score for both sides in the Derby Della Capitale. It signified how important Selmosson would become for Roma in his three-year spell, as he went on to reach double figures in each of the first two seasons of that tenure.

13. Enrique Guaita – 15 (1933-34)

The player with the best goals-to-games ratio (from a large enough sample size) in Roma’s history, Enrique Guaita only spent two years with the club, but both were prolific.

Essentially replacing Volk, Guaita had big boots to fill but quickly made his mark. The Argentine was Roma’s top scorer in his first season.

He repeated the feat the following season, scoring an impressive 28 goals, before returning to his country of birth at the age of 25. Nearly a century on, though, he still retains an important place in club history.

= Mohamed Salah – 15 (2015-16)

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After rebuilding his confidence with a loan spell at Fiorentina, Roma gave Mohamed Salah his next chance in Serie A when taking him from Chelsea on another loan deal. It was one of the most exciting signings the club had made for a while, and that excitement was not short-lived.

Salah was Roma’s top scorer in his first season with the club, keeping up a good scoring rate under the coaching of both Rudi Garcia and Luciano Spalletti.

His form made signing him permanently an easy decision, and he went on to repay his value the following year. Forming a prolific partnership with Dzeko, Salah once again hit double figures before earning a move to Liverpool, where he became an even more dangerous goalscorer.

This article was originally published on May 25th, 2021 and has been updated since.

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