Former Roma winger Simone Pepe believes Alessandro Florenzi is developing into a “worthy heir” to club legends Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi.
Pepe, who started his career with the Giallorossi but went on to establish himself elsewhere, is currently plying his trade at Chievo Verona – who are Sunday’s guests at the Stadio Olimpico.
Speaking to Il Messaggero, the 32-year-old expressed his belief that Florenzi can go on to become another homegrown icon like his illustrious teammates.
“He is a leader, the worthy heir to Totti and [Daniele] De Rossi, especially now that he's beginning to wear the captain's armband,” Pepe said.
“Being versatile, if you can use that to your benefit like Alessandro does, is a great advantage.”
The former Juventus midfielder also spoke about Totti, a player he had the opportunity to play alongside for a brief period when he was in the Roma ranks. The Italian believes no one should be surprised at the captain’s recent goalscoring exploits.
“I grew up at Roma, with the myth of Francesco Totti, and I went into two training camps with him,” Pepe added. “It astounds me that some people are still surprised by his quality.
“His goal ratio in the last period is as extraordinary as he is. I had the privilege of 'living' Francesco’s career and of playing together with [Alessandro] Del Piero.
"We're talking about two champions with an innate talent.”