LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 12: Theo Walcott of Arsenal and Davide Santon of Newcastle battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium on March 12, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
While we await any shred of news or simple confirmation on the transfers of Michael Bradley and Leandro Castan, the glaring need at one (possibly both) fullback position remains.
It's been a while since Roma have any stability on either flank, so with that in mind, let's take a look at the fullbacks currently setting the rumor mill ablaze.
Davide Santon: Young, talented and Italian. One minute, he is available, the next, Newcastle won't allow him to speak to Roma. Santon would bring size, speed, youth and tactical flexibility to the squad, as he can play on either flank.
Mathieu Debuchy: Sorta young, talented and French. Newcastle wants him, but their 5 million pound offer might not suffice, as Lille is keen to keep him, unless they receive their asking price and have an immediate replacement available. The obvious, yet unsubstantiated, connection to be made is that Newcastle will let Santon leave, but not until they secure Debuchy, who Lille won't sell until they find their own replacement. There isn't much by way of direct connections between Debucy and Roma, and Newcastle might have designs on a Santon/Debuchy combo, but a Roma fan can hope.
Jose Bosingwa: Older, still somewhat talented and Portuguese. You know the drill by now, Chelsea is letting him walk, Roma are interested and offer €2M, he wants €2.5M per year.
As for the fullbacks already in camp, Walter Sabatini says:
Meanwhile Jose Angel has stayed, perhaps at times we didn't quite see the best of him, but he still has ability. Zeman has asked to have a look at him, so at the moment we have Jose Angel and Dodò as our two left-backs. We'll now wait before making a decision based on what the coach sees over the next few weeks. Then we'll see whether we'll make any more moves in the transfer market. On the right we're bringing in a player who offers something different to what we currently have in the squad and we'll see what he can offer. We've also decided to keep hold of Rosi for a while, again because Zeman wants to have a look at him
Angel, despite his, how shall we say, inconsistent performance last year, is still an intriguing prospect, possessing size, speed and youth. So it is reassuring to see that ZZ hasn't completely dismissed his talents yet, as there is still much to be redeemed within the young Spaniard.
Assuming Castan and Bradley are signed, sealed, and delivered this weekend, fullback is really the last area in need of reinforcement, particularly on the right. The problem being, once teams have standout full backs, they tend to hang onto them like grim death.
Walter has his work cut out for him on this one, so far he has only made vague references to a right back who may or may not exist.