Another day, another story about Juan Iturbe. Honestly, I’m not sure we even covered him this much when Roma first signed him; you know, back when we thought he was good. Nevertheless, with news that Lyon might be interested in bringing him aboard in January, we felt compelled to spill more digital ink towards our dear Manu.
While our speculative look at Juan Iturbe the full back and/or wingback remains football fantasy, Iturbe’s latest turn in the Europa League was, despite the occasional gaffe, actually pretty solid—two shots, six dribbles and one key pass. Whether it was due to that performance or the ever elusive lure of potential, Iturbe’s suitors seem to be growing.
Facing their own AFCON dilemma—two key players are set to leave for the tournament—Lyon are reportedly interested in bringing Iturbe on board.
So sayeth Lyon coach Bruno Genesio:
On the other hand, it’s true that with Rachid [Ghezzal] going to the Africa Cup of Nations we risk lacking something with our commitments.
As I’ve said before, if anyone comes in it’ll be a competitive player who brings something to the team...The ideal would be to have a versatile attacker who can supply Alex [Lacazette], but who is also capable of taking up a position on the wing.
Iturbe? Yes, he could correspond to that.
Is it a problem that he’s cup-tied for the Europa League? Yes and no. We have the Europa League, but there will be other matches to play. We know we’ll need an extra player...He could be the right profile, but there will also be other profiles
Matches...profiles...sounds like Lyon is thinking of swiping right! OMG!
While there is a large part of me that still believes Iturbe can come good, and would love for that to happen with Roma, chances are his days in the Eternal City are numbered. If we still consider Iturbe a winger (which he absolutely is), then he still remains buried on the depth chart behind Diego Perotti, Stephan El Shaarawy and Mohamed Salah, not to mention the possibility of Gerson moving to the wing and the eventual returns of Federico Ricci and Matteo Politano (we hope).
I don’t know much about Ligue 1, so I can’t really speak to its suitability for Iturbe’s talents, or vice versa, he’s a hard kid not to root for, so I hope he finds his niche soon.