With all the hype and hoopla surrounding the purchase and subsequent sale of Andrea Bertolacci, not to mention the re-signing of Radja Nainggolan and the myriad of names connected to Roma over the past several weeks, the transfer of Iago Falque got lost in the shuffle. While it's easy to cast him as a mere throw-in to the Bertolacci deal, that would sell the Spaniard short. After all, even though Gervinho's next port of call remains to be seen, Falque figures to be a key figure on Roma's wings this season, so let's take a quick look at this transfer.
First up, the particulars, courtesy of the club's official statement:
AS Roma SpA announces that the club have signed a loan agreement with Genoa CFC SpA for the services of Iago Falqué Silva until June 30, 2016 for a fee of €1 million. The agreement also includes a commitment to buy the player permanently for a further fee of €7 million once he makes at least one competitive appearance for the club. Finally, the agreement also includes a performance-related bonus of a maximum of €1 million should the player reach certain targets. Iago Falqué has signed a contract until June 30, 2020.
Essentially Falque will cost Roma €9 million once he finally laces up his boots alongside Francesco Totti. But what does that kind of money get you nowadays?
In 32 appearances for the Genoa Cricket and Football Club last season (I love that name for some reason), Falque, 25-years-old, scored an impressive 13 goals, which led the club and was tied for seventh in Serie A. Falque also chipped in three assists and averaged 1.5 key passes per match, while completing 85% of his passes.
And although he will ostensibly take Gervinho's place in the lineup, the two men could not be more different. Where Gervinho's game is predicated upon pace and dribbling, Falque is more of a steady winger, one who relies on passing to create for others, rather than brute athleticism. To wit, Falque averaged 32 passes per match to Gervinho's 20, and 1 cross per match to Gervinho's 0.1. To put those numbers in perspective, Falque would have been Roma's most prolific passing winger, trailing only Alessandro Florenzi in the crossing department.
For more on Roma's newest recruit, we'll turn once more to the club itself:
Blessed with a low center of gravity and quality to burn, Falque is a left-footed winger with prodigious dribbling ability and a great shot. Indeed, in order to take full advantage of his explosive shooting ability, Gasperini often played him out on the right flank last season to enable him to cut in on his left and look for goal. After Joquim Peiro, Luis Del Sol, Cesar Gomez, Ivan Helguera, Pep Guardiola, Jose Angel and Bojan Krkic, Iago Falque becomes the eighth Spaniard to join Roma since the club's foundation in 1927.
Falque played a variety of roles for Genoa last season, making appearances at all three forward positions, as an attacking midfielder and even a deep lying midfielder on one occasion.
Falque, once he makes his first official appearance, will be bonded to the club through June of 2020.