With only 11 goals allowed through 16 matches, it's not as if Roma's defense has been derelict in their duties this season, but with the absence of Leandro Castan and the spotty play on the left flank, defense was always meant to be the top priority this winter. With today's news that Vladimir Chiriches is close to joining Roma a loan-with-an-option-to-buy deal once the market officially opens, it appears that reinforcing the defense will indeed be job one during the winter transfer window.
Chiriches, as you may recall, was nearly a Roma player over the summer but opted to give life in Tottenham another go. With only five Premiership appearances accounting for little more than 300 minutes, it looks as though Chiriches gamble did not pay off, paving the way for a January exit.
To say that Chiriches, 25, has underwhelmed during his days in North London would be putting it kindly. Vlad's 1.4 tackles per 90 ranks 14th on Spurs, behind defensive stalwarts like Erik Lamela and Aaron Lennon, while his 0.23 aerials won per 90 ranks 22nd on the squad; the only player with fewer aerials won per 90 minutes is Hugo Lloris...the goalkeeper.
It's not all bad news, of course. Chiriches actually leads Spurs in interceptions per 90 minutes and is in the top ten in blocked shots and clearances per 90 minutes, while his 86% passing is second among Spurs defenders.
What this all amounts to is a talented yet inconsistent player, one who might benefit from a change of scenery and a consistent role. Statistically speaking, Roma's defense is among Italy's best, ranking in the top three in most major categories, yet they are need of another warm body, but with Davide Astori, Kostas Manolas and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa firmly entrenched as Roma's top three centerbacks, will there even be room for Chiriches in the defensive rotation?