Walter Sabatini and Roma's penchant for acquiring players on a loan-with-an-option-to-buy basis is well known around the football world, and while they're hardly unique in this sense, they have had a decent amount of success using this particular purchasing paradigm. Unlike previous seasons when Sabatini was able to work this magic with a true option, much of Roma's transfer business this summer was built on the back of mandatory purchase clauses, the first (and most expensive of which) have officially triggered.
In a rather expansive press release, the club announced the official and complete purchases of several summer purchases, players who have quickly become bedrocks for the club. Edin Dzeko, Mohamed Salah, Iago Falque, Ezequiel Ponce and William Vainqueur are now fully owned by Roma. While no indication about the total cost of these clauses was included, as we discussed late in the summer, between those names and the presumptive kicker on Lucas Digne's deal, we could be looking at well over €40 million, and that's probably a conservative estimate; we'll pass along the details if/when they become available.
Despite the hefty cost, Roma has locked down several key pieces for this season and beyond. Falque and Salah have already proven themselves to be indispensable parts of Roma's starting eleven, while Dzeko simply needs to get back on the pitch and continue his adaptation to Serie A. Digne has been, of course, a revelation so he figures to be priority number one this summer.
While we can quibble with Salah's cost, there's no denying he's had an immediate impact on his new club, scoring several key goals already, while Sabatini got Dzeko for far below market value. But Falque has been perhaps the biggest surprise. Initially seen as a throw-in on the Bertolacci deal, he's quickly become a transformative figure in Roma's attack.
So all in all, despite the deferred funds, we'll chalk each of these up as a win.