Preparing To Mourn Erik

Paolo Bruno

That may be the last shot of Erik in a Roma shirt.

Without saying he's gold, the man behind the tweet is solid. Better than solid. Basically, it seems done. And so we prepare to mourn, as this will shake the walls of Romanistases* the world over for the coming hours. Not only has the boy seemingly destined to supplant Francesco Totti had one foot pushed out the door, but it's rumored to have been done so at a number which is, right now, less than one would've expected. Of course the bonus portion is open-ended, but that damn well better be a Ferrari or something. And I don't mean the car -- I mean the company.

* - You know.

This isn't a good deal for Roma. It's not a good deal football-wise (Gervinho is clearly his replacement and has been since the rumblings of Tottenham wouldn't go away), and it's not a good deal business-wise. There is nothing to like about this. Nothing.

No one should've desired Erik Lamela to move. Not a soul. He's gifted, he's young, and he's a model professional. But when reality came creeping in at 35-40m and Erik was tossed 4m euros net per annum, well, bye, Erik. Those are wages Roma can't match and a fee which is near double what they would end up paying for him, given River Plate's 10% sell-on clause. The savings on selling him - considering the pay-raise Roma wouldn't have to give him - would pass the 50m barrier with ease, it seemed.

But this? Hardly official numbers, but it's incredibly difficult to swallow having moved Marquinhos, having moved Osvaldo with only the idea of replacements fluttering about the press while they still so publicly flog Marco Borriello (he didn't start against Ternana - there's little else to say), not even having a healthy senior striker who seems wanted on the squad, and now the prized jewel of Roma's future. Obviously there was tremendous concern over his non-Zeman footballing performances, but that doesn't mean you sell that level of talent for a profit which is only seven figures. Nor does that mean you sell him at all. Especially when they could easily afford to pay those wages by moving other bodies. Literally in the case of Nico Burdisso. (We love you, Nico, it's painful.) It seemed they would be left with little choice. Is this "little choice"? Are they really that hard-up for cash?

They have nearly two weeks. Two weeks to save any chance this ownership has of winning over the fans. This wasn't a divisive wannabe rockstar or a kid who turned in a 20m+ profit in 12 months for a side which still shipped goals like a sieve in a position which relies far less on individual talent than those atop the formation. Erik was different. This isn't Udine. The revolving doors they've installed at Trigoria, at the Olimpico, are simply not welcome - either for the sake of building a cohesive core on the pitch or for their precious "Brand Roma."

You can't wait til your stadium goes up in 2017 to make things work, James. Haven't you been to Rome?

Patience is not in the Romanista's vocabulary.

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