As the old adage goes, when it rains it pours, and transfer rumors are no exception to that bit of home spun wisdom. While the club has yet to confirm it, for the second consecutive day it appears as though Roma has finalized a multimillion euro deal, with the Giallorossi forking over a reported €15m to Genoa to obtain the remaining 50% of Andrea Bertolacci's contract as well as winger Iago Falque.
While this "news", such as it is, is lacking an official acknowledgement from the club, the implications of this double swoop are far reaching. First and foremost, as we discussed last week, bringing Bertolacci back into the fold is a step in the right direction for Roma's somewhat wayward youth policy. Rather than letting him rot on the bench, the club wisely sent him out on two extremely productive loans where he was able to test his mettle against the best Serie A has to offer, and he came out smelling like roses. This is a shade apart from the manner in which they usually handle these affairs. Remember, Berto didn't even get a token appearance for his hometown club; they knew straight off how they wanted to handle his development and it didn't involve time wasted watching from the stands.
That's the big picture, the smaller, more immediate picture will likely see Berto pushing another midfielder out of the Eternal City, be it an expensive yet redundant veteran, or a fellow young'un in need of further development. But make no mistake, Bertolacci isn't here to stand on ceremony, he will be a critical part of Rudi Garcia's rotation next season. My best guess, Salih Uçan or Leandro Paredes suddenly become marginalized due to this joyous reunion.
The supposed throw-in in this deal, Falque, should also present some personnel problems. On the surface, it would appear that Falque will simply take Gervinho's spot on the rolls once he actually moves to UAE, but here is where things get really interesting. If you read the papers, Roma are once again hot on the heels of Monaco winger Yannick Carrasco, with whom they were connected to quite extensively last season.
Do the math and you'll see that's one winger leaving and two entering. So who else gets the boot? It damn sure won't be Alessandro Florenzi, and with his on again off again relationship with Garcia, Adem Ljajic's days in Rome may not be long if this comes to fruition.
As far as Falque is concerned, the surface statistics are pretty impressive. The 25-year-old Spaniard led Genoa with 13 goals and was third on the club in assists, while his 1.5 key passes per match were second for the Grifone this past season. I'm not here to dissect his game which, again, on the surface looks somewhat similar to the man he'd ostensibly be replacing, Gervinho, though with less speed and a less apparent forehead. Roma won't be worse for having Falque, but will they be better?
Getting back to my original point, the glut of wingers...
The bigger issue at play here is the manner in which this club continues to be constructed, at least in terms of their offensive philosophy, which goes something like this. Meh, let's just throw another winger in, that'll work. It's almost as if Walter Sabatini and Rudi Garcia are running their own handyman business and their solution to everything is just slap some duct tape on it and call it a day. Now, don't get me wrong, duct tape is a fantastic solution to many problems and is an essential component in anyone's toolbox, but it's not a solution to every home repair, nor should it be the foundation of your very business model.
But somehow, someway, Rudi and Walt have gone winger crazy, seeing speed and fancy dribbling as the be all end all of attacking football, leaving Roma's house with a gaping, striker sized hole in the roof. You might be able to cover the cracks with duct tape, keeping the rain off your head for a few days, but sooner or later, the whole roof is going to collapse, and then what's left?