By now I presume you've heard the news, Roma has decided to roll the dice on post hype super prospect Stephan El Shaarawy, formerly of Genoa, Milan and Monaco. While there were the standard will he or won't he rumors over the past few weeks, this was a relatively painless transfer, one that will see El Shaarawy call Roma home through the remainder of the season.
Per the official release:
The Italian forward joins on a loan deal until 30 June 2016, for a fee of €1.4million. The agreement includes an option to make the deal permanent, for a fee of €13million, before the beginning of the 2016-17 season.
Those figures are more or less in line with what we've been discussing over the past few weeks, and while it may seem like a steep cost for a player with essentially no production over the past 18 to 24 months, the cost is essentially a wash now that Roma has cashed in on Gervinho. However, make no mistake, this is still an expensive gamble; one that could pay huge dividends, but a gamble no less.
Just in case you forgot what this was (and hopefully remains) capable of, have a look:
With the business dealings out of the way, and with El Shaarawy presumably here to stay beyond this season, it's up to Luciano Spalletti to resurrect his new pharaoh. The first step in the journey is figuring out exactly where to play El Shaarawy. While SES has largely been a forward throughout is career, he is capable of playing as an out and out left winger, a second striker and even as an attacking midfielder. If El Shaarawy hits the ground running, everyone from Mohamed Salah to Iago Falque to Edin Dzeko could suffer a dip in playing time.
The official website has footage of El Shaarawy's first training session--you'll notice how he's practically attached to Daniele De Rossi's hip; not a bad man to show you the Roman ropes.
El Shaarawy will don the #22 kit and should presumably be available for Roma's match with Frosinone this weekend.