Georginio Wijnaldum arrived in style at AS Roma this week.
Having endured a miserable season with Paris Saint-Germain on the back of his Liverpool exit, the Dutch midfielder has decided to jump onboard the exciting project that Jose Mourinho is curating at the Stadio Olimpico.
On the back of securing Roma’s first piece of silverware in 14 years in the form of the UEFA Europa Conference League, the ‘Special One’ is now building a squad that’s more than capable of competing for Serie A glory.
Exciting times at AS Roma
The Romans might have underwhelmed with a sixth-place finish last time out, but there’s good reason to think that they’ll now be mixing it with Juventus and the Milan clubs on the back of an impressive summer.
Nemanja Matic moved to the ‘Eternal City’ for his third stint under Mourinho, Zeki Çelik arrived having recently won Ligue 1 with Lille and young Mile Svilar has provided reinforcements in the goalkeeping position.
However, let’s face it, the marquee signing of Paulo Dybala was the real head-turner as Roma profited from Inter Milan’s decision to sign Romelu Lukaku by snapping up the former Juventus star on a free.
And the purchase of Dybala felt like such a seminal moment in the ‘Eternal City’ that the welcome he received when unveiled to Roma fans will rightfully rank amongst the very greatest in football history.
Such was the epic scale of Dybala being introduced to the city that you’d be forgiven for thinking that Mourinho had instigated a reunion with Cristiano Ronaldo.
So when another top-class star in the form of Wijnaldum came through the door last week, albeit on loan, you knew that Roma fans giving him even 5% of the reception that Dybala received would lead to some spine-tingling scenes.
Wijnaldum given rapturous welcome
And that’s exactly what happened on Sunday because although there was no Roman street packed to the rafters, there was indeed a thronged Stadio Olimpico ready to scream their lungs out for the new signing.
The former Liverpool star acquainted himself with the Roma fans by running out onto the pitch before the 5-0 pre-season friendly win over Shakhtar Donetsk – and boy did they make him feel welcome.
Headphone users be warned because to say that Roma fans gave the ultimate rendition of the trademark Wijnaldum chant would be the mother of all understatements, so be sure to check out the full unveiling below:
Roma fans are different gravy. What a stunning atmosphere.
The stage is set for Wijnaldum
Even if Roma don’t go on to thrive in Serie A and compete for silverware in Europe again, Wijnaldum can at least rest easy knowing that he’ll get cheered a lot more than he did at the Parc des Princes.
Truth be told, Wijnaldum was very poor during his time in Paris and duly has a lot to prove in his second stint away from Liverpool, but it’s clear that he’s got all the backing in the world to get him started.
The 31-year-old can be a game-changing influence in midfield when he’s playing his best football, so if this does prove to be a match made in heaven, then Mourinho could be laughing all the way to the trophy cabinet.
But at least Wijnaldum has been given a story to tell his grandkids already, no matter what happens next.
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