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Totti Today #51: Always Alessio

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I rarely express my love or hate towards a certain Roma player. As long as they don the giallo e rosso from the club, I’m happy. Sure, the club has seen some piss poor players the last years who made it hard for me to support them. Some were great. Some average. Some are on the brink of stardom. Alessio is exactly that kind of player.

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Elegant

Transfer news in Rome has been focusing around the same topics for some weeks now: Dzeko, Salah and Doumbia’s ever-growing popularity among the fans who clearly don’t want to sell him for less than € 25m(that last part was a LOL, get out of here Seydou, no, not you Keita…). But one name has really made me nervous in July and the start of August. A boy with a last name we are all jealous of: Alessio ROMAgnoli. Beautiful, pure, elegant, Italian. Be proud of it, son.

Ironically and from what I’ve read in the media, Alessio isn’t really that proud of his last name as we’d like him to be. He’s tempted by AC Milan and could soon follow Bertolacci’s example. Milan’s CB roster actually looks poorer than Roma’s right now so he wouldn’t have a problem getting minutes. Plus there’s a certain Sinisia Mihajlovic at the helm of the Rossoneri, Romagnoli’s coach back at Sampdoria. A succesful period for both. He knows Sinisa, Sinisa knows him. And Sinisa badly wants him at Milan. It’s really that easy sometimes: 1 + 1= 2. Alessio could be a hit at the club from Lombardia.

Luxury

And this is the part where I come in with a strong bias in favor of the kid. He does tick all the boxes: Homegrown, Italian, immensly talented, loveable, physically impressive, a lot of experience despite his young age, a cool last name, a typical old school defender,…. Some people forget Alessio is still younger than Iturbe, Ucan, Florenzi or Paredes. Yet it feels he has been around forever, since Zeman took over in 2012. And you don’t want to discuss with Mister Marlboro: he knows if someone has talent and can make it to the top.

That’s why I’m obviously on the bandwagon to keep Romagnoli. Not because he could be our new Benatia or Juan this season, he’s still a little rough around the edges. But clearly a choice for the future. Keep Alessio and we have a gem on our hands, entirely for free. Roma just need to wait until he really explodes and claims a place on the starting team. Maybe another loan, why not? We all saw how much he improved since his Sampdoria days. He has a long-term contract at Roma and that’s a luxury, he shouldn’t be involved in transfer rumors.

Pain

Sell Alessio and Roma’s CB roster looks like this: Castan, Manolas, Yanga and some unknown, unproven Primavera player. Hardly the department that will impress in the Champions League or makes Roma a Scudetto contender. And it could get really ugly if one of Castan or Manolas get injured or suspended. Do you really want Roma to take on Inter, Juve or Bayern with a central defence of Yanga-Capradossi? Probably yes if your name is Christian Grey and you like pain and are a fan of sadomasicism. Every other human being: no.

But let’s be realistic for a moment here: € 30m for a 20-year-old kid is a big offer. One no club in the world could resist. And the imminent arrivals of Dzeko and Salah must be sponsored somehow. My question is: Why not sell other dead weight like Destro, Doumbia and Yao? Or even Adem if it has to? They all bring in as much cash as Alessio. We don’t NEED to sell him, the squad is big enough to find a creative solution. Sell Alessio and Sabatini has another problem at hand: find a more than decent CB to replace him. Those are expensive as well and I doubt Walter has time for that now due to all the headaches about Dzeko, Adriano, Gerson and especially Salah.

Keep it simple, keep Alessio.