Buy this player and I'll turn him into a star...that was the promise made by Zdenek Zeman ten months ago when he urged Walter Sabatini to bring Panagiotis Tachtsidis to Roma. With Roma selling their stake in the midfielder back to Genoa, we can safely file that away as a broken promise, or at the very least, a promise unfulfilled.
That's not to say that Copy & Paste was without his moments, but when you ostensibly take the place of Daniele De Rossi, you better deliver early and often. While his selection was always controversial, he had Zeman's backing, but once ZZ was removed from the equation, Tachtsidis' time in Roma was effectively done. Aurelio Andreazzoli, in his infinite wisdom, saw no use for the young Greek, limiting him to only four league appearances the remainder of the season.
No matter your opinion of him, now or in the future, he just didn't consistently deliver the balance of offensive inspiration and defensive cover necessary to hold his seemingly always contentious place in the starting XI.
So the final book on Tachtsidis' Roma career looks like this:
- 21 appearances
- 1 goal
- 2 assists
- 41 tackles
- 28 interceptions
- 57 clearances
- 21 chances created
- 1050 passes
- 79% completion
When all was said and done, Tachtsidis' numbers were relatively solid, defensively his per match statistics were as good as any Roma midfielder, and in some cases, much better. Although he did create a fair number of chances, one per match, his consistency wasn't commensurate with his place in the offense, which was, at times, quite large. The issue with Tachtsidis wasn't that he lacked in quality or potential, rather it was more a case of his current abilities not being worthy of starters minutes.
So we'll close the book on Copy & Paste by offering highlights from what was undoubtedly one his best performances in a Roma shirt, the 3-3 draw with Bologna from January. On this afternoon, the young Greek played the full 90, scored a goal, drew a yellow card, completed 83% of his passes, made three tackles, four interceptions, nine clearances, and amassed 69 passes. He was a beast on both ends of the pitch, giving a glimpse of what Zeman saw of him in Serie B and what he may yet become.
With Genoa now owning his full rights, it's up to the Grifone to sort out the giant Greek; will they let him test his mettle in Serie A or farm him out for more experience?