Obviously there are far more important matters in Europe at the moment, so we'll use sports for what they truly are; a distraction to more pressing and real matters....annnnd, awkward segue....so let's take a brief moment to talk about the future of several of Roma's borrowed and lent assets, which run the gamut from absolute must buys to please god, someone take him off our hands.
We'll accentuate the positive first and focus on Stephan El Shaarawy and Lucas Digne. According to the Corriere dello Sport, Roma are currently engaged in negotiations with AC Milan for El Shaarawy's permanent signature, to which I say, uh duh. Even without his prolific performance in front of goal, this was a no brainer for me; at his age and with limitless potential bounding through his limbs, Roma was always better served by retaining his services. But what was once a calculated gamble is starting to look like highway robbery. If El Shaarawy's continues to develop, he may very well become the face of the Azzurri, if not the league, before too long; all of which should funnel tremendous amounts of cash towards Roma's coffers.
The future of El Shaarawy's companion on this list, PSG property Lucas Digne, is a bit cloudier. While many (myself included) are hailing this kid as one of the games next great fullbacks, others see in impartial product, one with some charming features, but hardly worth the fifteen million it will take to secure his services permanently. This argument may have some merit, but when you consider the dearth of fullbacks on the market, particularly young ones, the juice becomes worth the squeeze; another year with Spalletti and a decent rightback to counter his services, and he may be worth north of 20 million next year.
So if El Shaarawy is priority number one for the summer, consider Digne 1a. There can be no equivocation when it comes to the next two names mentioned in that link, Juan Iturbe and Salih Ucan.
We all know the Iturbe story by now, but for a brief moment in time, he's been a tremendous disappointment to the Roma faithful. However, just when it seemed we were granted a reprieve from the well moneyed Premier League, Iturbe fell flat on his face once more, barely scratching the lineup for Bournemouth....Bournemouth! All of this has led to increasingly likely speculation that Manu will return to Rome come June, but, if the latest updates prove true, he may be sent packing once more, back from whence he came, Porto. While this may seem to good to be true, this slight step backwards might be good for Iturbe's overall development; he still has a chance to be a productive footballer, but the writing is on the wall, it won't be in one of the major five leagues, at least not as a regular starter.
The next kid on that list, Ucan, represents more a failure of management than individual development. The CdS reports that Roma will pass on the permanent option for the Turkish Toni Kroos, deeming their four million loan a sunken cost.
Listen, the kid has barely played, but when you watch him, you can't help but notice his effortless gait, his poise on the ball and general composure. Now, that might not necessarily portend a legendary career, but the kid has a good shot at becoming a solid regular, but Roma, whether its down to Rudi Garcia, Luciano Spalletti or Walter Sabatini, has completely mismanaged his development; at that cost, he simply has to be allowed to play, be it in Roma or elsewhere. But he hasn't, so you can argue tactics, maturity or acclimation all you want, the plain and simple point is that Roma has failed tremendously; they failed Ucan, themselves and the future of this club. Why go to all that trouble to have him languishing on the bench week after week?
Needless to say, Roma's litany of loan options will be the pivot around which their summer mercato turns.
In any event we hope that wherever this finds you, you're safe.