Mattia Destro's once promising career seems to have taken another step backwards, as the 24-year-old striker has apparently accepted a €12m move to everyone's favorite principality, Monaco. Playing in one of the world's most luxurious locations and in Ligue 1 isn't exactly like being banished to MLS, but for a man seemingly destined to be Italy's next great striker, it's an unexpected turn in what, as recently as a year ago, looked like a linear path towards greatness.
For Roma, not only does this sale represent a €4m loss, but it is yet another instance of disconnect between the men who assemble the team and those who actually manage it. Bought in the ill-fated summer of Zeman in 2012, Destro never seemed quite like ZZ's type of striker, being perhaps a touch too slow and too much of a poacher to work in Zeman's hellacious attack, factors which contributed to his bit role that season, as he made only 11 starts during Roma's dour 2012-2013 season.
You know what happened from there. Destro's injury woes resurfaced, but much like he did during the club's 2013 Coppa Italia run, Mr. Right caught fire. After returning from injury in the spring of 2014, Destro became an absolute goal scoring machine, scoring 13 goals over a torrid fourth month span between December and April, one that saw Roma come within shouting distance of the Scudetto. On and off the pitch, no one was hotter than Destro; it seemed like Roma had captured Italy's next big thing, someone who could lead both club and country to glory.
What happened since then is anyone's guess. Perhaps his scorching spring simply glossed over the fact that he didn't gel with Garcia's tactics, but we tend to forget that Destro scored four goals through his first eight matches of this season, seemingly picking up right where he left off, so we can't really say the league simply figured him out. For whatever reason, he simply lost Garcia's faith, sentencing him to what eventually became a lost season, as he never caught on with Filippo Inzaghi and AC Milan either.
Destro may yet prove to be a 20 goal scorer, but, as far as his Roma career is concerned, the faith from the front office was seldom replicated on the touchline. It was always an untenable situation, one we conveniently ignored due to his terrific form last spring.
Whatever the case may be, one of the strangest careers in the history of this club has seemingly come to an end.