The January Watchlist

David Rogers

This is less a preview than a quick rundown/guide to pretty much the only things which should be expected during January.

The window opens, and so here we are - a Roma in need of nothing. I don't know this Roma...

Rightback

The rise of Ivan Piris has thrown a wrench into what seemed a glaring 'need' position. Not only has he thrived, but there is plenty of cover in that Taddei is a capable backup, as well as the fact that Balzaretti can play on the right - where his left-footed self might even be a better crosser (badaboom) - with Dodo giving everyone fluctuating racing hearts and dyspepsia with his kamikaze solo runs from the back. Basically, their negotiating position is strengthened and they can hold out til the summer for some capable competition, a la Jung, which should be the goal at this point - neither a starter nor backup, but simply someone to compete for that spot with Piris. If a RB does land, expect Rodrigo Taddei to be unceremoniously Pek'd.

* - Also worth noting Ivan is still on loan and though he has a pretty low buyout which can be taken care of in the summer, they may decide to take care of matters sooner than later.

Maarten

Oh boy. Agent speak today:

"He has only just returned from his fitness problems, but the hierarchy of goalkeepers is not yet clear," agent Rob Jansen told SportMediaset. "He certainly won't stay at Roma to be second choice. He has to think about his career, the Dutch team and the World Cup in Brazil."

Allow me to translate this, gratis:

"If Maarten isn't the starter again by Inter on the 20th, find my client another squad, assholes."

This transfer story is either a story or non-story, depending upon the next few weeks. As discussed recently, his contract is palatable enough to leave napping on the bench, but his desire to play (and perhaps ego) are different discussions.

Nico Burdisso

Big contract, desire to play, not getting younger, two Brazilians in front of him. In some respects, both sides want him gone and both sides want him to stay. He could be another Stek situation: if he doesn't get some minutes through the end of the month, another home could be sought.

Backups in the event of a move

This applies to both goalkeeper and centerback, where those would be, for now, clear backups. The summer would probably be a better time to reassess for purposes of a longer-term solution unless a great deal (see: Pjanic) pops up.

Nico Lopez

He needs a loan. And orthodonture. Either will suffice. His complete lack of playing time along with the presence of Tallo means he probably wouldn't need to be replaced.

Hell, if Simone Perrotta is getting minutes at rightwing...

Mr. X

Because why the hell not - the chances they pull an extraordinary coup out of the magic hat aren't so slim.

('X' is actually pronounced 'Dzagoev'.)

Expectations

Frankly, I expect nothing of note to be done whatsoever. The problem is so much currently stands in flux with a great deal dependent upon final standing - basically: whether or not they net a Champions League spot; trying to make a move in January when things seem to be going so well is nothing but imprudent. Sure, they'd like a better situation on the whole at rightback, but throwing 'We can offer you Champions League and more playing time regardless.' is a lot more enticing than rotating with a Paraguayan speedster on loan. Plus the caliber of player they can woo with CL football is a great deal higher than someone happy with a team playing second tier Europe at best for the third year on the trot. The only situation which could need to be rectified is Stek - Nico's going to get some playing time no matter what - depending on what happens over the next several matchdays.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it - and everything's finally running as smooth as Alessio Romagnoli's baby face.

Oh, he could use a loan, too. Just free the children for half a year already.

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