After completing his move to Roma on Thursday, French forward Gregoire Defrel sat down with the club’s in-house television channel to discuss his hopes at his new club.
The 26-year-old, who scored 12 goals in Serie A last season, has signed a five-year contract with the Giallorossi – and is eager to make the step up and help the club achieve its targets over the coming campaign.
Read what Defrel had to say below.
Welcome to Roma. How does it feel to be a Giallorossi player?
Defrel: “It means a lot to me to be able to play for Roma. I’m going to be part of a very strong group, one of the best teams in Italy. I’m delighted to be here and I will give my all for the team.”
When did Roma first make contact with you?
“My agent told me in January that Roma were interested in me. I spoke to Sassuolo and the coach and ended up staying with the Neroverdi for another six months. I was a bit disappointed not to join Roma because it was a huge opportunity for me, but I didn’t panic. I promised myself that I’d have another great six months at Sassuolo and hoped the chance would come around again at the end of the season.
"When my agent told me that Roma were still interested this summer, I was really pleased and said yes straight away.”
Di Francesco has said that you’re a centre forward but that you can play on the right wing if needed.
“That’s right. In the past I’ve played as a winger, though at Sassuolo the coach always played me as the central striker. I found it hard to get used to the movement in the first year, but he really helped me and I learned a lot and improved. I still have a lot to learn but I feel like a centre forward.”
At Roma you’ll be linking up with one of your former Sassuolo team-mates in Lorenzo Pellegrini. Have you spoken to him at all?
“Yes, we’ve spoken a lot. Even before everything had been agreed with the club, Lorenzo was calling me to see if there was any news. Now that I’ve signed, I’ve just had a message from him in America, saying ‘looking forward to seeing you’. I’m happy to be linking up with him because he’s a good guy and a great player.”
You’ll be making your Champions League debut with Roma.
“Yeah – it’s the biggest competition you can play in at club level for any player, so I’m absolutely buzzing. I’ve made progress every year since I arrived in Italy and this year that means playing in the Champions League. I’ll do everything I can to be ready for it – I can’t wait to get started!”