It’s a world of difference from the Abbey Stadium (above) to the Stadio Olimpico, home of Roma and the venue for the Copa Italia final. However, for Cambridge United youngster Mbunya Alemanji it is a case of swapping the former for the latter in a £70,000 deal per BBC Sport’s Alex Howell.
For 16-year-old Alemanji it is the stuff of dreams, a once-in-a-lifetime chance to mix it with the big boys; world-famous players at a world-famous club.
My chat with Mbunya Alemanji👇🏽 He’s gone from Cambridge in League Two to Roma in Serie A. What a move!
— Alex Howell (@iamAlexHowell) September 2, 2020
The young striker, who came to Roma’s attention through a video hit-reel put together by his agent, will start off in Rome as a member of their Under-17 side.
The teen striker, who was born in Germany and moved to England as a 3-year-old, has signed a three-year deal with the Italian giants. The first year of that deal will see him on a scholarship deal before it converts to a professional deal on his 17th birthday.
He will have to get used to seeing world-famous players in his day-to-day training at the club and he’s admitted that he’s trying to stay humble on all of this. Commenting on it, he said:
“It is a big move but I’m just trying to prove why I’m there. My friends have been saying to me: ‘Do you realise you’re at AS Roma?’ I’m just trying to keep calm.“
It’s certainly a Cinderella story and one that Mbunya Alemanji will aim to make a success of as he looks to put the Abbey Stadium in the rearview mirror with the focus now on the Stadio Olimpico and AS Roma.