With Andrea Bertolacci now safely stowed away in the San Siro, and with Leandro Paredes and Salih Uçan likely heading out on loan, Roma is suddenly in need of another body in midfield, preferably an attacking one. Enter PSV Eindhoven's Georginio Wijnaldum, who is reportedly a target for both Roma and PSG, among others.
So, other than giving me another inordinately hard name to spell, what would Wijnaldum bring to the club and how much would he cost?
As you can see, GW, 24-years-old, is a 5'9" central midfielder, one capable of playing centrally or in a more attacking position. Although he hasn't always cracked the list of the world's hottest transfer targets, Wijnaldum had a hell of a season for PSV. Across all competitions, Wijnaldum made 40 appearances (again, a feat in and of itself) and scored 18 goals while contributing three assists and averaging 1.2 key passes per match. While the goals are certainly nice, you'd like to see a bit more productivity in his playmaking, but on the surface, he certainly seems like a solid addition to any lineup, as he seems to have the technical ability to play virtually anywhere across midfield.
However, as is often the case with Roma, things are never that easy. You see, this time last year, GW was actually offered a deal by the aforementioned Parisian giants.
PSG's offer was solid. They're a club you can't refuse, but the talks over my contract extension with PSV went well and quickly.I wasn't ready, I followed my instinct. Last season, I had been injured, I didn't have confidence in my abilities. And when you join PSG, it's to play there.
So there's the external transfer market aspect to this rumor; just because Roma has an ostensible hole which Wijnaldum could fill, doesn't make it a foregone conclusion, especially not when PSG enters the picture.
Now, for the internal, more infuriating angle. Football Italia, via La Gazzetta dello Sport, hint that Roma would have to fork over €15m to PSV for the Dutchman's signature. Not an exorbitant amount by any means, but that's nearly what we paid for Kevin Strootman a couple of years ago; is he in the same class as the Washing Machine?
Furthermore, while Roma's €11.5m profit on Bertolacci was nice, particularly given his relative lack of experience, why, then, immediately turn around and spend €15m on a similar player? What's the point of that? Unless Bertolacci really had it in his mind to never play for Rome, this seems like a circuitous route for Roma to obtain a backup to Miralem Pjanic.
In and of itself, Wijnaldum seems like a solid addition--he's great on the ball, has plenty of experience and can fill a variety of roles--but when you factor in the gravity of PSG and compare GWs potential cost and role versus what they just sold in Bertolacci, this rumor exposes our greatest insecurities; the fear that Walter Sabatini has lost his way and the ever present reality that Roma will always fall woefully short of the real market shakers like PSG.
I'd gladly welcome Wijnaldum to Roma, but this seems like a smokescreen to something...what that might be, I have no idea. It's becoming increasingly hard to peer inside the mind of Walter Sabatini.