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Totti Today #46: The Belgian and the Bertolacci

On the brink of July 1, AS Roma presents two new signings: Radja and Andrea. Well, ‘new’… Not really. Two highly familiar faces are secured for 2015-2016. Well, ‘secured’… Not really. Gosh, let me explain people!

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After last week’s rather emotional interlude, I hope all your hankerchiefs are dried up by now and ready for a more traditional Today. Less drama, more Roma. Which obviously means more drama.

While Nainggolan looks set to begin his second full season at Rome, Bertolacci’s a different story. Loan deals aside, he’s been part of Roma since his youth. 125 games in Serie A while he just turned 24, not bad at all. Last season was a true breakout one: 6 goals in 34 games. An omnipresent for an entertaining Genoa side. Bringing Bertolacci back home was a no-brainer. But tifosi fear that Walter and Roma have other plans than just bringing Berto’ home.I hear Milan is a popular city amongst fashion-conscious footballers...

Andrea has become very sought-after in Italy, also thanks to his international call-up by Conte. Yet, I think Florenzi is a big factor in all of this. He has the same age as his buddy Andrea, plus just judge the pics on this blog. They clearly love eachother in a not homosexual way. Bromance I believe is how the young guns call it (all together now: aaaaawwwww). So yeah it’s simple: keep Florenzi on board and Andrea will be damn eager to stay in the capital as well. He’s earned his place here, even more so than others. Besides, who doesn’t want another Roman prodigy in our ranks? Next season we might even have a record on our hands here guys. Imagine those 5 players (Totti, Dani, Flo, Romagnoli and Berto) playing all at once. A Roman in every department. If that ain’t a big fat clusterfuck in the making.

Sell, buy, sell, buy some more. Roma’s double deal (Radja-Bertolacci) was a serious blow moneywise. They did make an effort to keep one of its finest midfielders and bring in a talented one, but it comes with a price: they risk the entire summer mercato playing second-fiddle. Hence the possible Destro, Gervinho, Doumbia, Pjanic sales. Something’s gotta give. Oh and a possible Holebas’ departure too. At least his sum is good enough to pay the gardener in Trigoria. Or maybe Davide Petrucci’s dad wants to do it for free? Time heals all wounds.

The fact that not even Gervinho’s sale is finalized yet (all hail the PDF) means this is turning into another good old fashioned Roman mercato. Slow, exhausting, bumpy road, sometimes hilarious, sometimes depressing…. Mind you there’s a fine line between the last two. We tifosi have been accustomed to craziness for a long time yet silly season always manages to amaze us. For 2 months in a row.

The situation as it is right now: The midfield’s too crowded, the fullback position is a mess and our attack still misses a big target striker (don’t get me started on Ibarbo). Lots of work to be done by Walter, though we’re not even July. Still, it would be nice for a change to have a nearly completed team ready by the start of pre-season. For the fans, for Rudi, for our restless hearts. Remember Chris’ Dog and Pony Shows? 30+ players available during the ritiro, a lot of them forgettable and useless….

So yes, I pray for a fast-paced mercato and a more or less complete roster by July 20(ish). Then again: what on earth should we, writers of the Holy Church, write about ‘till September if that actually happens? Dogs and ponies can be cute too.