In addition to a new keeper, an actual sponsor, and hopefully a couple of full backs, Roma are reportedly hellbent on resolving their unending and self-inflicted quest for a top striker. Never mind the fact that, between Mattia Destro and Seydou Doumbia, they have approximately €30m worth of strikers on their payroll, the transfer rumor titans of the world would have you believe that Roma are keen on none other than Manchester United forward Robin Van Persie.
RvP, who will be 32-years-old at the start of next season, has featured sparingly for United during 2015. Despite his personal relegation, Van Persie has managed 10 goals and two assists in 27 Premiership appearances. A far cry from the 26 and nine he threw up in his first season for the Red Devils, but a respectable total nonetheless.
So, would Roma actually stand to benefit from this move, or would Van Persie merely be the latest Premiership octogenarian seeking safe harbor in the calm shores of Serie A?
Let's take a quick look.
Why It Makes Sense
Well, for starters, Van Persie has 96 league goals and 31 assists over the past seasons, and, all kidding aside, at 32-years-old, Roma could still squeeze two-to-three effective seasons out of the Dutchman. Furthermore, he is exactly what Roma needs; an out-and-out center forward that can contribute in all phases of the attack and score and create from all corners of the pitch.
Despite those 10 league goals, which trails only Wayne Rooney for the club lead, there can be no doubt, whoever pays for Van Persie's services will largely be paying for his past performances; there's simply no way he's cracking 20 goals again, regardless of the competition. However, when we distill his recent numbers down to the en vogue per 90 minute metric, Van Persie's efficiency shines through; a trait which might help him age gracefully.
RVP's 10 Premiership goals have come in just over 2,000 minutes (another trait Roma desperately needs) good for an average of 0.43 goals per 90 minutes, which leads the club and places him in a tie for 20th place in the Premiership, though everyone is drowning in Sergio Aguero's wake, 0.92 goals per 90 minutes. Aside from the goals, Van Persie's shot accuracy (56%) is tied for 13th in the league while his 24 key passes are good for fifth on the club.
Granted, some of these numbers are cherry picked, but the point remains; the man can still play.
Why It Doesn't Make Sense
Take it away, Raekwon
Van Persie, who is still under contract with United, one which pays him a reported £220,000 per week, would be prohibitively expensive for Roma. So while we can quibble about where he'd fit within the squad or how Roma could possibly make this work with Destro and Doumbia still on the books, this is really all that matters.
Cash rules everything around me.
We could, of course, argue whether doling out top dollar for Premier League retirees is the shrewdest footballing plan; these moves tend not to work out as well in actuality as they do paper. Serie A may not be the bee's knees anymore, but it's not a walk in the park.
If we can shake the reality that Roma already has two strikers they seemingly don't want, and could somehow squeeze Van Persie into the rolls, the salary disparity between his United wages and what Roma could afford would be stark. Quite stark, indeed. However, if Van Persie is up for the challenge, has decided he's made enough money in his career and really, really, really wants to hang out with Kevin Strootman 24/7, we might be onto something.
For now, you'll have to excuse me as I listen to the rest of 36 Chambers.