While we brush off the disappointment of the draw with Torino and keep our hopes cautiously guarded as Roma prepares for Sassuolo, let's take a quick look at the Roma rumor mill. With less than eight weeks before the winter transfer window opens, we can expect things to pick up, but for now, all we're left with is the usual smattering of semi-professional South Americans.
So let's take a look at some speculative signings, some returns and some possible delays...
In many ways, Roma's start to the season has been a double edge sword (Do single edged swords exist?) for Mattia Destro. During the high times, we were left to wonder how and where he'd fit in with Francesco Totti and the suddenly resurgent Gervinho and the blossoming Alessandro Florenzi. Surely, at least terms of goal scoring, he was the superior talent to the latter two, but would Garcia dare mess with Roma's chemistry? Fast forward a few weeks, a few injuries, a few suspensions and one draw later, and suddenly we're asking how can Roma live without him? Well, as it turns out, we may be asking that question a bit longer. Though he's returned to training, it appears as though he's at least a month away from actually lacing 'em up.
You may have noticed a distinct lack of attacking zeal--or, let's be honest, simple speed--last week against Torino. With Gervinho's hamstring apparently ready to run, Roma should have one of its sharpest knives back in the drawer (we're gonna stick with the cutlery theme for a bit longer). While this doesn't necessarily solve the problem in the center of the attack, his return couldn't have come a moment sooner, and who would've imagined that four months ago?
In the first of two links, Roma news tells us Totti's ultrasound, though mildly encouraging, doesn't necessarily equate an early return. In fact, word on the streets suggests that he may not be back until 2014 at the earliest, returning for the Juventus fixture in early January.
Link number two suggest--at least in poorly translated English--that Totti might go the Kobe Bryant/new age route and get himself some blood platelet therapy to speed his recovery along. This one suggests he may be back before December, so take them as you will. But, if Roma can maintain or increase their three point lead, let's not rush Er Purpone, shall we?
A quick update on the Leandro Paredes purchase. Big Walt says the 19-year old Boca Juniors midfielder may be in Roma as soon as next season. Having followed the young Argentine for several months now, you have to trust Sabatini's judgement; Walt believes he could step into Europe and play immediately, despite his age and slender physique....which sounds dirty when you consider how often he dips into the Argentine adolescent market.
It looks as if Roma have secured the signature of Lil Abner from Coritiba for roughly €5m, with the player set to move in the summer. All the press on this kid is overwhelmingly positive, but he recently suffered a rather serious leg injury, so its a gamble, that's for sure. But Roma will need help in the fullback ranks in the not too distant future, so its a gamble they have to take.
There is no time to delay the future, this squad is woefully thin beyond its starting XI, and with winter nearly upon us, Sabatini's purchases, unlike recent years, must reap immediate rewards.