Roma Women reunite Spugna with Benedetta Glionna as Bonfantini departs

Roma Women have completed a swap deal with Juventus that sees them sign Benedetta Glionna and bid farewell to Agnese Bonfantini.

Glionna thus becomes the first signing of the summer and reunites with Alessandro Spugna, who coached her when she was on loan at Empoli last season.

A full Italy international, the Naples-born forward will help provide another solution on the right wing, which proved to be something of a problem position last season.

Neither Bonfantini nor Lindsey Thomas got the goals they were capable of, although the latter impressed more with her all-round performances. Now, Glionna – who scored 15 goals from 21 games last season – should provide an answer.

Glionna told “I am absolutely delighted to start this new adventure, because Roma is a great club.

“I am excited to be a part of this group, which keeps improving year on year.”

After signing a contract until 2024, she will hope to replicate the success she enjoyed with Juventus, where she was part of two Serie A winning sides.

An experienced player despite her young age, she first played senior football at 14 years old and has since built up her reputation.

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Betty Bavagnoli, the Head of Women’s Football at Roma, reflected this in her analysis of her first signing in her new role.

Last season’s coach said: “Glionna is a forward of undoubted talent.

“Despite her young age she has already picked up lots of great experience in Italy, and her performances from last season only underline that.

“Her desire to keep on improving even further will only help us achieve great things.”

While there is excitement for the arrival of Glionna, the departure of Bonfantini is somewhat bittersweet.

A member of the original Roma Women squad, only Annamaria Serturini has played more games and scored more goals than her for the club (Bonfantini’s tallies were 67 apps and 16 goals). She was also the first ever player to score a hat-trick for the Giallorosse.

Sadly, Bonfantini’s output dropped in 2020-21, but champions Juventus have still put their faith in her.

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As her departure was confirmed, the 22-year-old posted a farewell message to Roma via Instagram.

She wrote: “Dear Roma, I arrived three years ago as a young girl chasing her dream of playing in Serie A. You immediately made me feel at home.

“Here I have had the good fortune of meeting people with whom I have shared amazing, incredible moments.

“Obviously, in life as in sport, there are tough moments and disappointing moments – and this past year did not always go as I would have wanted. I want to thank all the fans who supported me and made me feel something amazing every time I was out on the pitch, or every time we had something to celebrate.

“Always remember that you are unique. Dear Roma, I loved you, I respected you and I gave everything I had to you. For me now a change is necessary, to find new motivations and targets for my future.

“Thank you to all my teammates for helping me win my first trophy, thank you for helping me have fun, for helping me to grow, for helping me fight through the bad moments and for understanding me and accepting me with my head in the clouds.

“Thank you to destiny for letting me meet true friends; to have walked alongside them has been a dream. Thanks a lot Roma!”

Grazie, Agnese and benvenuta, Benedetta.

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