Before we delve into the updates about Roma's newest winger, let's first talk a bit about the dearly departed Gervinho. While much of the weekend's news focused on Gervinho's move to Jiangsu, a different Chinese club swooped in and captured The Predator. Hebei China Fortune has reportedly landed Gervino for a cool €15 million, almost double what Roma paid nearly three years ago.
Gervinho certainly gave us moments of fits and incredulity, but with 26 goals (all comps), it's safe to say Roma got their money's worth out of the former Arsenal man. So good luck Gervinho, you won't have to worry about hitting the open man in China because you'll easily be the most talented player on the pitch.
Now, on to his replacement, Roma's newest recruit, 23-year-old attacker of all trades Stephan El Shaarawy. While the financial particulars haven't been released, AC MIlan has acknowledged that this move is all but a formality, plus, you know, there's this:
El Shaarawy's arrival in Rome. pic.twitter.com/Yl26FyR1LY— Calcio AS Roma (@CalcioASRoma) January 25, 2016
In true Roma fashion, El Shaarawy was mobbed at the airport. Quibble with his recent results if you will, but given his youth and his outstanding debut with Milan a few years ago, El Shaarawy-to-Roma is still a headline grabber. That potential, that smile and that hair may yet produce a superstar, but what are the immediate expectations?
Due to his struggles with Monaco and the inevitable adjustment period (to Serie A, to Roma and to Spalletti), it's a bit harder to set a barometer for his short-term success. At minimum, we'd hope he can fill Gervinho's shoes; that is to say, man the left flank and put the pedal to the medal, anything outside of that is gravy.
In the long run, it's the same story we've read umpteen times: if his mind ever catches up with his feet, if his understanding of the game ever runs in tandem with his innate talent, watch out, we might have a monster on our hands.
In the very, very immediate sense, let's just hope he can suit up against Frosinone.