You know, for a team that plays in a one striker system with a striker that really isn't your prototypical striker, Roma seems to be quite emphatic about picking up a big name or big talent striker in the next transfer window - or rumors suggest such. Your striker du jour is Stevan Jovetić of Partizan Belgrade in Serbia, and he is, well, good. Oh, and he's also Montenegrin. A striker from Montenero. Hmm, sounds familiar, eh? Did I mention he's good? Yeah, he's good. He was born way way way back in 1989 and has been playing steady first team football since he was 16, already scoring 18 goals and has thrown in a couple of caps for the new national squad on thee Eastern European bloc. So he's good.
First of all, before I give you the requisite money figures and youtube videos which will leave you calling for the new Mirko, let's just run down the list of Roma's competitors:
That, my friends, is what you would call the G14 lottery (and a mid-table club with a human rights abusing owner who just happens to also have a Scrooge McDuck vault at home where he goes swimming every morning). It has also been reported that ManYoo is almost a lock to land him for that paltry fee of €10m. Well, it is paltry when you bring Alexandre "I Haven't Done Jack Shit Yet" Pato into the equation (he of oh so many games and goals setting the bar for teenaged phenoms everywhere). Could be rumors, but there are many many links which put he and Sir Whiskey Nose in the same room together deciding if Alexis can get the youngster into one of Cristiano Ronaldo's parties.
That said, one of the first things that comes to mind is the Edison Cavani situation of last winter. Cavani being a guy sought by all the Ferrari-driving, cheerleader dating, athletic superstars in school but chose to go out with the backup shortstop from the middle upper-class family who was just average enough that'd he'd give her all of his attention. (Cavani went to Palermo instead of Madrid, capisce?) So, that means Roma has two things going for it, from each angle. One, it's ascending to the level of Euro powerhouse in a sexy manner with pretty football and sugar and sprinkles and all those wonderful things. And he'll also be afforded some playing time with the paucity of strikers on the squad, not to mention the backup being thrown in a straight jacket and forced to sit in the left wing rubber room. So, play on one of the up and coming sides with a compatriot and a chance at some decent playing time, or sit behind Rooney, Saha, Nani, Tevez, Dong, Anderson, etc etc for the next 8 years? I know which one I'd choose. Just to be safe, maybe we should just start mailing this kid an endless number of Giuseppe Rossi pics in the ManYoo reserves shirt and a Newcastle kit. That should do it.
As for how he is as a player, he seems to be your prototypical striker, with a good, hard shot, nice ups and a decent header, a little bit of pace, some very good positioning for a youngster, and that much ballyhooed "nose for goal". All of which is nice, but how does it fit in with this team? Unless The Grand Imperial Poobah really is thinking about switching things up tactically, or Rosella is willing to spend huge bucks for a kid who won't be truly ready for the big time for a few years (one, I doubt she will, but two, he jut appears to have some high level game maturity, he may be ready alot sooner than his age dictates).
Still, he'll be big time expensive even if Roma does stick its foot in the door. But after that, my oh my, kid's going to do big things:
(He's missing those chances in this one, maybe the kid should go to finishing school beforehand if he ends up coming...)
The famous hat trick in UEFA...
Hopefully whoever ends up writing his paychecks gives him enough to get a haircut...and he looks good with a big Kappa logo on his shoulders, doesn't he?
(Don't get your hopes too high - the chances of this happening are slim and none)
Hold Those Amauri Rumors...
“There have been no discussions between Palermo and Roma and I don’t foresee there being any player swap in the future,” the Rosanero chief roared.
“Given the current financial situation of the capital club, it would be very difficult for them to compete with other big sides in a bidding war for Amauri."
Here's what I have to say to this: When was the last time anybody, anywhere gave any value whatsoever to anything Maurizio Zamparini has said? (For those not in the know, he's a certifiable, raving lunatic.)
I) His Francesconess may or may not play against Napoli this weekend due to "muscle fatigue". I would say he's playing if there wasn't a tougher game two days later in the form of Sporting, so it's hard to judge at this point. Whatever happens, though, Mirko Vucinic has proven himself to be more than capable of subbing in for Il Capitano. We'll probably know more tomorrow.
II) For that same game, everyone is back except for King Alberto, who will probably be taking his sweet ole time getting back. So, I suspect we'll see Simone Perrotta in the Roman XI and Taddei might get a look, although at this point I would put my money on Lulu Gulu.
III) More completely inane rumors: Almost Giallorosso Lucio may start to enter those waters again, because, uh, Roma needs a CB? (Beware the link, it's in French) First of all, Juan has been wonderful, thanks. Second of all, the only thing I can possibly come up with is not all is well in Happyhappyland with Matteo Ferrari, and that contract extension may not be coming any time soon, if ever (remember, he wants to be paid like a starter without being a starter - Rosella don't play that).
So, if Ferrari does move on to lesser pastures, I guess Lucio would be nice, but how feasible is this, really? And at a reasonable €5-6m one would think he'd have his fair share of suitors. I expect this one to fizzle out unless Matteo gets moved in January.
* - I wrote this before I even read the news report of V. So no, I wasn't copying.
IV) From the What The Fuck Dep't:
Kenny Miller, ventisettenne bomber scozzese, interessa alla Roma di Luciano Spalletti. L’attaccante è valutato 10 milioni di euro.
What? Huh? €10m? Didn't he get sold for like €3m two months ago?
Some computer geek obviously came up with a random Roman transfer target generator which just spits out bullshit rumors and pricetags. Otherwise, I really can't explain many of these.
V) You don't need to be able to read Italian to understand this, just look at the names:
Se Ferrari non dovesse rinnovare il contratto in scadenza, la Roma dovrà cercarsi un altro difensore centrale e punterà su un 'vecchio amore': il 29enne nazionale brasiliano del Bayern Monaco, Lucio, già trattato quattro anni fa quando era al Leverkusen, che ora vuole andare via dalla Germania ed è anche disposto a guadagnare meno. E' extracomunitario, ma sta per ottenere la cittadinanza tedesca. In scadenza di contratto nel 2009, il suo cartellino costerebbe intorno ai 5-6 milioni di euro.
A gennaio il portoghese Antunes andrà via in prestito, al suo posto si offre l'olandese Emanuelson. Sempre dell'Ajax, tenuto d'occhio anche Huntelaar, mentre in Italia si seguono Amauri e Mutu.
• First of all, Lucio coming in to replace Ferari does make sense, and in fact, he would probably be the first name on the wishlist for a multitude of reasons, including past interest (and he doesn't need to take samba lessons to fit it).
• Emanuelson I'm beginning to believe may actually be a current target, as Vitorino Antunes was obviously a time constraints buy with the transfer window closing - and the final decision was not TGIP's. Urby very well may be his type of player. However, I have heard nothing but unfavorable reviews of him for the last 8-12 months. Let's hope it's growing pains if he does in fact wind up at the Olimpico.
• Huntelaar? Really? Did they just see "Roma looking for striker" and just throwing names against the wall?
• Oh, Mutu...I guess they did. Honestly, I have no idea what's going on. I highly doubt they're true, but if they are, I have no idea what The Grand Imperial Poobah is looking to do anymore. One thing all these players do have in common, though, is they suggest one thing (if true): TGIP is looking beyond the 4-2-3-1, and the lack of finishing appears to have changed his mind with regard to the "4-2-3-1 or thee highway" mentality. I'm all for some tactical flexibility - get after it.
* - Napoli preview tomorrow, then back to the grind on Saturday.