AS Roma have officially signed 22-year-old defender Mert Cetin from newly-promoted Turkish side Gençlerbirliği Spor Kulübü. The Italians have paid an initial €3 million euros plus Gençlerbirliği hold a 10% stake in any future transfer if the figure is above €5 million. The young centre-back has penned a deal with the Giallorossi until 2024.
"I know the size of the club I am going to be representing,” Mert Cetin said. “I’m very happy to be here, it’s a feeling I can’t really describe in words. I am confident I will be able to live up to the hopes of the club and the fans.”
Cetin becomes the second Turkish player at the club following the purchase of Cenzig Under two seasons ago. In an interview with the clubs website, he said: “I met Cengiz a little while ago, he’s a spirited guy and being Turkish as well it means I won’t feel alone,” something the recently departed Rick Karsdorp accused the club of.
“We are pleased to be able to bring Mert Cetin to Rome, a young player but one with significant potential,” said sporting director Gianluca Petrachi. He then added, “I hope that he can quickly demonstrate the talent that we all believe he has.”
Last season Cetin played 25 times for Gençlerbirliği scoring one goal during that time.
Filling A Need
Having sold pivotal centre-back Kostas Manolas to Serie A rivals SSC Napoli earlier in the summer Roma have needed to add to their squad. Sporting director Gianluca Petrachi has been on the hunt all summer to reinforce the backline that so far only boasts the new acquisition Gianluca Mancini, as well as the old guard of Federico Fazio and Juan Jesus. Adding the young defender helps plug one of the gaps in the back, while it remains to be seen how big a role he will play considering he was playing in the Turkish second division last season.
New Signing Doesn't Rule Out Another
While he has taken the number 15 shirt at Roma, according to RomaPress he'll be given the next week of training to try and impress coach Paulo Fonseca. This comes on the heels of Roma coming very close to landing central defender Dejan Lovren from Liverpool FC, as well as being in negotiations for Daniele Rugani from Juventus FC. Cetin's signing will not rule out another defender coming in as Fonseca is looking for an experienced and quick defender to help implement his new tactics on the team.