Happy Silly Season friends!
The summer transfer window has been open in Italy for a month now (only in England does it officially open in July). During this time we have collectively seethed with the anxiety of promiscuous patients awaiting results at a sexual health clinic. Nothing brings out the over protective mother like a transfer rumour concerning your favourite giocatore making its way around the internet. Likewise, out comes everyone’s favourite Monopoly hat and cane when the obscure media reports detail certain clubs showing "interest" in a less than treasured asset.
This obscene economic model sees football clubs shifting sums of money greater than the GDP of many sovereign nations too and fro in speculative fashions not unlike certain hair gelled, suspender wearing stock traders on Wall St. This gambit has a rather unique ability to arrest our emotions and with little provocation have us ranting and raving at figments of our imagination like lunatics scolding inanimate objects. Furthermore, thanks to the creation of Football Manager and FIFA career mode, the Transfer Window has evolved into a beast that even pulls the heart strings of basement dwelling teenagers who can inhale chunks of player names and data in a few weeks without the imposition of watching a game of football that doesn’t feature on Match of the Day.
The beauty of the silly season, in the eyes of your humble scribe, is its ability to develop such passionate schisms between fans who argue with vindictive rage the merits of a sale or purchase. Indeed our humble website or blog (can someone please clarify what this thing actually is?) has exploded over the last few weeks with conflicting opinions and passionate monologues detailing how Roma’s assets should be traded. Indeed the decisions of Walter Sabatini and his entire South American child adoption factory are being ruthlessly defended or lambasted with equal venom by the hour.
Keeping in mind our complete and utter inability to know the full story of the financial and emotional motivations taking place in the Trigoria smoking dungeons, we feel it is not only appropriate but entirely necessary to further muddy the impossible waters of silly season. By running our eyes through the current Roma squad and affixing a label of their importance or otherwise to the upcoming Serie A season, we invite you to continue your headshaking and computer slapping journey deep into silly season.
The classification system is as follows: (descending from keep to sell)
Should Move On
Show Me The Money!
Morgan De Sanctis
Another solid to super year for Roma’s number 1, #26. Morgan remains a very capable custodian of the goal front and is currently the expected starter for next season, the final year on his contract. Whether this happens or not remains a mystery for now depending on the expected purchase of a Balkan affiliated goalkeeper aged closer to his prime. Either way, don’t expect our favourite barking mad portiere to fall victim of the axe this silly season. Rating: Must Keep
Mancat! How else will this team be able to corner the niche Romanian Serie A market without our lovable third choice? I guess we could make him a coach or something. Rating: Should Keep
Quite the baptism of fire for the self-proclaimed solution to the AS Roma inflicted Benatia problem. This kid has certainly shown enough to deserve another year at the Olimpico but remains unlikely to live up to the lofty hype espoused by the CDT Greek faction. Whether he can remain first choice once Castan and Alessio (don’t even speculate on him being traded!) return is immaterial, he still offers this team plenty. Rating: Must Keep
Well I guess this one all depends on what sort of Romanistass you are. Do you get giddy with pleasure imagining a never ending carousel of player sales and purchases? Do you lust for AC Roma to ditch the Ultras, Totti, DDR and anyone else that is preventing us from starring in a remake of the Mighty Ducks? Are you willing to sell a future Roma Captain and symbol of the main tenet that makes this club special in a footballing world corrupted by the power of the Euro? Ok, ok, relax you market whores, my tongue is firmly in cheek. Like many here I remain worried about the direction the club is taking at the hands of our American benefactors and bemoan the sale of quality home-grown players to direct rivals for some dirty cash. Rating: Must Keep
The derby hero remains in giallorossi more or less due to the bizarre vagaries of transfer deals and some clause that meant we had to buy him outright. Personally, I’d rather we kept Astori, but hey, there’s no real harm in having Mapou chilling in that 4th CB spot. Rating: Should Keep
Welcome back you wonderful warrior, you! His return adds that emotional spice we crave as Roma fans. Rating: Must Keep
Is his EPL move official yet? Like many of you I am mystified how this guy managed to keep Cole on the bench for most the season. LB was a glaring problem in Rudi’s gameplan and an upgrade is absolutely necessary. Should we be able to scrape any spare change out of this deal I am all for it. Rating: Show Me The Money!
What the hell happened? This X-File looks like it’ll remain closed with rumours abounding for a sale back to Mother England. His wages alone demand at least some positive contribution to the team. Rating: Show Me The Money!
I’m not opposed to welcoming this fella back into the fold at the expense of Holebas or Cole, but like both those players, ideally he should be second string to a preferred LB purchase during the window. Rating: Should Keep
Oh Dougy, Dougy, Where for art thou Dougy? Going forward, Maicon adds a teethy dimension to our attack. Lets all cross our fingers that whatever was keeping our bald Brazilian from the field last year, injuries or a broken heart, can be remedied ahead of next season. This is a sale that must happen, whether it is now or in 12 months time is the question. Rating: Should Keep
Another Greek defender whose stocks are plummeting, Toro should be struggling to get consistent minutes this season. However, on his good days he provides enough experience and flashes of ability to maintain a spot in the squad. The introduction of a new first team RB may result in the offloading of Toro as Florenzi has proven himself to be a capable emergency RB, which means poor old Vasilis narrowly falls into the red font colour. Rating: Should Move On
Daniele De Rossi
No Si Tocca. Capitano Futuro remains a vital cog to the Roman midfield and on his day provides a level of steel in front of the defence that is second to none. Although he endured a rough spell last year I simply don’t buy into the MLS narrative that he is washed up and is personally holding back Roma’s potential to buy more unproven South American teenagers with his high wages. Rating: Must Keep
This game has already played out. Radja is staying. Good.
For a second silly season Miralem is being eyed by a number of deep pocketed suitors. After a frustratingly barren season, the little Prince should be chomping at the bit to rejoin what should be one of the most capable midfields alongside big Kev. His immediate future remains in the hands of the accountants should the books require some serious black ink. Rating: Should Keep
Having personally undergone Kevin Strootman surgery a few weeks ago, my commitment and fealty towards this steel jawed dynamo remains as positive as can be. His second season ending injury appears to have kept the Man U vultures at bay and just might be a blessing in disguise should Kev return to the field in 2015/16. He remains one of the best buys of the American ownership and gives this team serious momentum in attack. Rating: Must Keep
The greatest benefactor of Rudi’s anti-youth stance, Keita performed admirably when called upon for Roma last year. The (disgusting, inexcusable) sale of Bertolacci may have ensured the Mali man gets another season to fill in the gaps where required in the Roma midfield. Personally, I’d prefer to see Ucan or Paredes entrusted with that, but that is another argument for another day. Rating: Should Keep
I’ll be honest, I’m not 100% sure what is going on with his ownership status or loan deal or whatever with Boca Juniors. From the little we have seen of him he has displayed enough to remain on the squad, however he may not be as keen on spending more time on the pine. The expected arrival of Australian wunderkind Daniel De Silva, may mean Paredes is better off finding minutes on the pitch outside of Rome. Rating: Should Move On
See Above, (replace Boca Juniors with Fenerbahce).
Came to Roma with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Without goals against Juve, CSKA and Lazio he may have been booted back out without so much as a backrub. Surely not even Sabatini is trigger happy enough to release Iturbe after one dodgy year? 2015/16 may just be make or break for young Manu. Rating: Should Keep
Once again enough flashes throughout the year to reveal his potential for greatness whilst plenty of ammunition for his detractors to demand Ibarbo be given a lifetime contract in his stead. Possibly the greatest victim of Rudi’s tactics, Adem appears the man most likely to be sold in preparation for a shiny new attacker. Is this fair or wise? Probably not, but silly season demands us to sacrifice those we love at the alter of Sabatini. #DaretoZlatan.
Rating: Break Glass Only In Case of Zlatan
Another breakout season and the least divisive figure on CDT. Fan and Nonna favourite. Sell at your peril Jimmy. Rating: Must Keep
Simply disastrous purchase that could have been entirely avoided without the Destro saga. To be fair to Doumbia he was placed in a horrific position being parachuted into a team fraught with attacking problems whilst being injured. With that said, statistics from the Russian league should never EVER be used in comparison with Serie A. I am and forever shall be at a complete loss as to how Roma and Doumbia could ever been seen to be an appropriate match. He may be given a second chance to win the Olimpico over should all other attacking purchases be prevented in the next month. Personally, I’d take whatever cash is on offer from China, Russia etc. #DaretoZlatan. Rating: Show Me The Money!
BDV the Colombian maestro! A magnificent specimen of a man who has an uncanny ability to hurl himself straight into the ground whenever a defender approaches him. Ibarbo has become the symbol of everything that has gone wrong with Roma’s silly season sales during the past twelve months. The obscene quantity of cash alleged to have splurged on Mr Ibarbo is enough to send the most optimistic of unicorn believers to despair. Alas I could sit here all day and wax lyrical about his deficiencies, but I think you guys are picking up what I’m putting down. #DaretoZlatan Rating: Show Me The Money!
Full disclosure, I am pro Mattia Destro. Sadly a reunion at the pointy end of Roma’s attack seems unlikely thanks to the estranged relationship between Mr Right and Mr Rudi. At this point it is more or less spin the transfer wheel to see which new club is connected to Destro. I for one shall mourn this loss of what could have been a beautiful thing. #DaretoZlatan Rating: Should Move On
Well shit, looks like we cracked the champagne a little too early on this one. Remember when Saba sold both Dodo and Osvaldo for a profit and we were laughing to the bank? Well I had this one chalked down as a win like that. Honestly, couldn’t we just go halves on a chopper and help build a modest pretend beach? Jimmy? Rating: Show Me The Money!
No Totti, No Party. No Totti, No CDT. Rating: Il Bimbo D’Oro
Well there you have it. The midfield looks fine aaaaaaaaand the rest of the team needs upgrading. But should this be done at the expense of gems like Romagnoli and Adem? That remains the question.
Go forth uncontrollable internet mob! Unleash your inner Sabatini!