With Juan Iturbe now officially a Bournemouth player, Roma's early market maneuvers figure to center around finding his nominal replacement. While we closed out the holiday week discussing the speculative gamble of signing Stephan El Shaarawy from AC Milan, it appears as though Roma is heading in a different, somewhat safer direction.
Football Italia via Sports Mediaset are reporting that Roma and Genoa have agreed to a deal for Argentine attacking midfielder/forward/winger Diego Perotti. According to those sources, Roma will pony up an initial €9 million for Perotti with a further €3 million in performance related bonuses, though neither of those figures, or indeed the move itself, has been verified by any club official.
Perotti, 27-years-old, moved to the Genoa Cricket and Football Club after several seasons with Sevilla in La Liga. While Perotti had a decent debut Serie A season last year (four goals, five assists), his sophomore season hasn't gone quite as swimmingly. Through 13 appearances, Perotti has more red cards (two) than goals (one), though he does lead Genoa in dribbles per match and key passes, where he also tied for ninth in the league, even with Miralem Pjanic.
Perotti may not have the name recognition of El Shaarawy, but he's just as versatile as the Italian, if not more so. Through those 13 appearances, Perotti has played as an attacking midfielder and all three forward positions, so as far as offensive substitutes go, he may be ideal, plus, given his clean bill of health in recent times, he's a safer play than El Shaarawy, though his ceiling is probably much lower than the Pharaohs.
But that brings us to the crux of the issue. Roma will be no worse for employing Perotti, but is that really the going cost of a reserve nowadays? €12 million? Walter Sabatini couldn't have found a better deal than that? He couldnt' have squeezed Genoa a bit more?
Don't get me wrong, Perotti is an intriguing player, but at 27-years-old, he is what he is; there isn't much room for further growth here. Furthermore, with Miralem Pjanic still under contract through 2018, Perotti will never be more than a €12 million sub. Granted, that's better than the €22 million sub they had as recently as last week, but at least Iturbe had that ever elusive potential; the same cannot be said for Perotti.
Perotti, incidentally, remains suspended until January 11th, so there's still much time to debate this potential move, if it even comes to fruition. With Genoa themselves after El Shaarawy, one would assume they're eager to part with Perotti, so the price may come down, or Roma may swoop in on El Sharaawy themselves.
Either way, it appears that, once again, Walter Sabatini is merely patching up his cracked foundation by wasting millions of dollars to ensure further roster redundancy.
Bravo, Walter. Bravo.