It's a rather popular thing in American sports to compile what are often completely arbitrary and hypothetical transfer values. For some odd reason, I feel like doing the same. And I will.
But also because I realize the new ownership may want to switch things around. Not necessarily come in and clear house, but bring in a new coach whose philosophies don't completely align with the personnel, thus potential change.
The potential transfer value reading encompasses everything - ability, age, contract, salary and, in certain cases, a dollop of je ne sais quoi - but doesn't have exact figures. Why? Because I'd like to sleep within the next 72 hours, mostly.
So there we are - all Roma players*, listed in value in ascending order. No prizes for guessing who comes in first.
* - Eliminating loans and co-owns, so no, it's not Guillermo. (And yes, Rosi is co-owned/on loan to Roma.)
AS Roma: What's Your Value?
24. Simone Loria
He has none.
But I bet his mother still loves him, so that's something.
23. Vitorio Antunes
And Bruno Conti weeps....
22. Marco Cassetti
Soon-to-be 34 year olds with soon-to-expire contracts don't have a great deal of value, to put it kindly.
21. Simone Perrotta
Contract is up in June, with the next one to presumably be his last.
20. Leandro Greco
His contract is also up in June - which should be second on the to-do list after Philou, or perhaps even before, as we don't want too many people to take notice just yet - but I gather the world doesn't quite know what to think of this kid.
Extraordinary story, extraordinarily intriguing potential, but where exactly does he stand?
Still, he's Roman and I suspect every desire is to stay home and continue on his miraculous ascent.
The Posse of Indifference
19. Bogdan Lobont
Capable backup to be 33 in January. Nothing spectacular, nor is his worth.
If not for Rosi's indiscipline, he might take up the caboose. However, he's worked himself to providing solid contributions once again, going from someone whom Roma would have to heavily subsidize just to get off the books to a solid fullback.
His contract demands may still be a bit heavy - this is mere assumption that he won't want to go from Roma's offering to meal money - so feel free to move him down the list as desired.
The numbers being tossed about during the summer mercato were not exactly mind-blowing. Six months of icing down those reflexes while shaving time off the contract will do nothing but lessen it; unless, of course, there's a sudden worldwide keeper crisis.
(His greatest value may be that he has value to Premiership teams, a league which doesn't understand the meaning of value.)
Solid Role Players. And Adriano.
16. Fabio Simplico
Fabio's gone from unloved to integral member of the first team in about two and a half hours. I have no idea where to place him or how to even approach his value.
He, more than anyone, has me thinking November was not the ideal time for this sort of list. (It isn't, oh well.)
15. John Arne Riise wears short sleeves
An elder statesman, this John.
I thought him to be an absolute steal when they nabbed him two years ago. Now, at 30, he's got less than two years on his deal and his skills aren't exactly of the sexy variety - in fact his two greatest, he runs and runs and doesn't get hurt, aren't positionally specific, which won't line up the suitors.
But based on his value to Roma? Kick him well up the list.
14. Julio Baptista
Extraordinary physical skill set, not apparent idea how to use it anymore. Also would require a contract no sane team would afford him, which leaves Greece & Turkey (like I said: sane).
He's not entirely useless - see: the derby - but he can no longer be seen as a cog in a machine; he needs to be The Machine against lesser machines. Like in Greece & Turkey.
13. Rodrigo Taddei
Contract: 2014 (2013 + 1 nostalgia year)
Coaches love him. They want him. They crave him.
That's a market in and of itself, even if the common fan might not get it.
He's hardly played, constantly either injured or out of shape, and his past isn't one which offers a great deal of faith.
But he's Adriano, a man with no short ceiling of talent, and someone would bite.
11. Matteo Brighi
There are a number of teams both at home and abroad who would love to have Matteo start 38 games a year in their midfield.
Just ask his agent.
Talent Sells, Baby. Talent Sells.
10. Stefano Okaka Chuka
Football truths: talent and promise often carry a greater value than production.
He's a beastly physical talent with youth well on his side; it's just really unfortunate he happens to play Roma's deepest position.
Age Ain't Nothin' But A Number.
9. David Pizarro
There's been a trend in this part of the pitch, and that trend involves ageing midfielders.
So....LOCK UP GRECO.
Also worth noting David is injured often and even though he was able to play through it til recent, that's not a trend you want to see with someone on the wrong side of 30.
So....LOCK UP GRECO.
8. Nicolas Burdisso
Inter really destroyed the ability to valuate Nico. One year he was worth squadoosh; the next he's worth a small ransom.
7. Julio Sergio
Again: age. JSB has obviously turned into a supremely reliable keeper, a demographic which doesn't exactly grow on Brazilian trees, and goalkeepers, particularly those with such little wear on the tires, have long shelf lives.
Four years younger and he'd probably crack the top 5.
Obviously a topnotch centerback, but has suffered his share of injuries and made promises to return to Flamengo in 2013 (while staying in Rome through the end of this current contract), which is only 2.5 years from now. Could be persuaded otherwise, I suppose, but unlikely.
Unrealistic, but he has to go somewhere.
The French & Contracts...Goddamnit.
5. Philippe Mexes
Arguably the most difficult to peg, because when he's on his game, a world class centerback entering his prime. But we have to entertain the idea that next year might be Mexes-free, as he's out of contract starting in June, even if it'd feel like losing one of the she-wolf's teats off the badge.
So he says he's going to look around, not commit to anything yet. I suspect this boy has a very bright agent, for two reasons:
i. The Claudio factor. Now that Domenech is gone and he's won his rightful spot in France's lineup, he has significantly more to lose should Claudio decide his pairing is Burdisso-Juan. (He shouldn't, but he may.)
ii. Ownership change. Mexes is, without a doubt, a premier contract. However, signing one now means he falls under the flimsy "non-Roman cap" with achievable bonuses such as "can spell own name" and "breathes...sometimes". But if Big Daddy Warbucks walks through that door and abolishes the cap - I'm sure they'd love to grandfather it in, however - and Philou has already signed a lengthy extension, he stands to lose the most. Consequently, he stands to gain the most should he hold out until the sale process completes.
And the money factor is only part of the ownership equation; there's also every chance the new suits will want to go ahead with their own "people". In other words: coach.
Waiting out the dawn to assess the landscape is the only smart move here, which, unfortunately, derails his value for Roma and makes him nearly impossible to valuate. He could go for nothing in a few months, or he could pull an Aquilani and sign a contract almost immediately before being shipped out of town, netting Roma a bigger coup.
However, he is as Roman as they come, a man who is emotional to the core. I suspect his heart strings can be tugged to continue the Roman odyssey as Juan enters into age 32, with two years remaining on his contract, and a return to his injured ways thanks to an English language Roma blogger.
In the end, I'm treating it like a re-up with Roma. At least I expect it; the whole situation is frankly very anticlimactic for me.
4. Jeremy Menez
I had Jeremy a long way in front of Borriello at number three with this...
2010 has been something of a breakout; not this year, but since the winter months of 09-10. They paid some €15m on his promise, and now he's delivering production, with a ceiling that is still ever higher. He's a premier 23yo attacking talent with pace for days in a game where speed reigns. Not quite Mirko, but €15m now wouldn't even get a return call.
...until the realization that he has a mere year and a half on his contract. I imagine they could recoup some serious loot next summer, but they best start negotiations quickly once ownership is settled. (Or before, if he's willing to discuss.)
Very, very difficult timing.
Attack From The Front
3. Marco Borriello
€10m was complete and utter thievery, and I'm not quite sure Silvio realized just how much he knocked off the sticker price at the time, because Marco could approach double that mere months later. He's a technical, strong, big striker whose game isn't predicated on pace and trickery, so he's going to age well and he's at the cusp, if just over, of his prime with over 4 and a half years left on his contract.
I see this deal as Rosella's unexpected outgoing gift much in the same way Julio Sergio was Spalletti's surprise package.
2. Mirko Vucinic
Even if we can't quite wrap our hands around It, there's little doubt that a world class attacking talent who shows up biggest in the biggest of games would create a rather extraordinary market. Not to mention he's just now entering his prime.
The Chosen One (The Redux)
1. Daniele De Rossi
On his day, the premier defensive midfielder in the world. There is no benchmark; he is the benchmark.
All of which is further enhanced by the fact that the end date on his contract means absolutely nothing.
- You'll notice one Francesco Totti is not on the list. He was there, at #6, but I suffered an internal crisis moving him both up and down based on varying factors - including age, wages, brand image, etc. - but ultimately decided there lies no hypothetical world in which Francesco would leave Roma. It's either pull on the red and yellow or hang up the boots, there's no in-between.
- While the midfield clearly needs to get younger, they've done an exceptional job in locking up the prime of the role players surrounding the stars. Perrotta, Taddei, Pizarro and Brighi all took their primes in Rome or are currently locked up through their prime (Matteo).
Rather good business to invest in the peak performance years for a club with limited funds.
- I see Menez and Mexes as having very similar values in that their contracts are giant clouds looming, with Philou's the more pressing. In fact, this is the point where I decided to break them up.
- I have an inkling I'll have a hankering to do this once every few months or so, to read the evolution. Just imagine what this would look have looked like at the beginning of August.
Hardly recognizable, for one.
- And finally, much of this is speculative and based on nothing more than my reading of their abilities. Certain players will appeal far more to certain teams, certain systems - including Roma's - and therefore valuations will fluctuate.
So it's best not to use this for the winter mercato, Prade, because we all know you'll try.