If the unrelenting string of draws weren't enough to sway you, the double blow Roma received this week, losing Juan Iturbe and Kevin Strootman for (potentially) the rest of the season should finally convince you that "it" (whatever that might be) is not in the cards for Roma this season. That's not to say that the wheels have completely fallen off and we'll end up mid-table, but the magic of last season appears to have all but vanished.
While the Strootman news isn't quite that shocking--after all, we're talking about a previously repaired knee--the reports that Iturbe will miss the remainder of the 2014-2015 season to due ligament damage to his right knee and ankle come as somewhat of a surprise, and certainly a disappointing revelation for a player who was finally starting to turn it around.
In a bittersweet twist of irony, the loss of Iturbe makes the previously redundant rumored transfer of Cagliari forward Victor Ibarbo a little more palatable. Now that Cagliari has reportedly secured his replacement in the form of Standard Liege winger Paul-Jose M'Poku, they are free to release Ibarbo to Roma, for quite a hefty fee at that, all things considered.
Using the ever popular loan-with-a-mandatory-option-to-buy clause, Roma will reportedly take on the Colombian forward on an initial six month loan with a mandatory buyout clause, reportedly as high as €15m.
Ibarbo, 24-years-old, stands 6'1" tall and has scored 14 goals since joining Cagliari in 2011. Ibarbo has played all across the forward line this season, though he makes his home on the right flank, and is best known for his pace and skill on the ball, as evidenced by his three dribbles per match, which is currently eight in Serie A.
So, where once this may have been a redundant addition, now that Iturbe may be out for the remainder of the season, Ibarbo should slot in nicely behind Gervinho and Adem Ljajic on Roma's wings, providing yet another boost of speed to Garcia's frontline.