During a rather precarious and inconsistent season from AS Roma, I try to pick eleven ex-Roma players who could've been quite useful to Garcia/Spalletti. As we all know, the goalkeeper department causes headaches, our defence lacks something special, the midfield lacks a bit of magic and our attack sometimes fires blanks. But with these next eleven names in our ranks, this season may have changed drastically. Onwards and upwards!
GK: Curci. The now 30-year old Roman suddenly finds himself in Germany at Mainz after spells at Sampdoria, Bologna and Siena. Truth be told, Roma never really had splendid goalkeepers since the new millenium (you could make a case for Morgan Batman), but Curci always had the stamp 'eternal talent' on his forehead. He ain't no Buffon, but as a second keeper he did just fine. With more than 110 Serie A games under his belt between 2008 and 2011, he got a tonload of experience but he never got a chance at Roma after that. A shame. Also, beneficial for our Italian quota if he had stayed. Or is this the hopeless romantic in me speaking?
RB: Cafu. Ah, Il Pendolino. I doubted between Panucci and Cafu for this position, but Panucci left as a 36-year old and only featured for Parma, while Cafu still had a great career at Milan. Spalletti's formation thrives if the backs are good, and boy, Cafu was a golden rightback. He's the only one from these 11 players who is already retired but I'd take a 45-year old Cafu over Torosidis or Maicon any day of the week.
CB: Marquinhos. This one hurted a lot. Such a prodigy, but such a profit we made from his transfer. Yet, our defence this season could use some flair, brains and skills. Marcos had it all. He wasn't tall, but when paired with Manolas or Rüdiger, he would've prevented a lot of stupid goals this season.
CB: Benatia. Pretty much the same as 'Hos. Whenever Manolas, Rüdiger or Castan look shaky or have a brainfart, I always long for Benatia. Straightforward, no nonsense, a wall. Again, if he had played this season, a lot less goals against. And maybe one or two places higher in the standings.
LB: Riise. Another difficult department, like the goalkeeper. We never had a star leftback after Tonetto retired. Yet, I didn't had to look far. John Arne Riise. Jar Jar Binks. Maybe not as talented as Digne, but a worker, a fighter. Even at the age of 35, I would feel a lot more save if he was vice-Digne and not Torosidis or Emerson.
DM: Brighi. Stamina, pace, tackling. I always liked the Brighadier. Serie A Young Footballer of the Year in 2002. Played more than 100 games for Roma. Now 35, but would be an excellent sub for Daniele or Radja, instead of Keita. Last year he helped Sassuolo avoiding relegation and is now enjoying a nice season in Bologna. Somebody who rarely lets you down.
CM: Aquilani. Still only 31, although it looks like he has been around forever. Kinda like Curci, eternal Roman talent but not in the same category as Daniele or even Florenzi. It was a toss-up between him and Pizarro. I chose Alberto because he is younger. If Pjanic gets injured or suspended, I still dream of an Aquilani through ball to Totti who then scores with a chip.............. I just creamed my pants.
AM: Ludovic Giuly. Yup, he's still active in the football world, playing for Monts d'Or Azergues Foot (what's in a name), at the age of 39. A few months older than Francesco but class is eternal. Like Totti, he could change a game in just a few minutes as a sub. Only played one season in Roma, scoring 6 goals in 32 games. Maybe a bit of a gamble at that age, but c'mon, we all want to see the little man once more in giallo e rosso, no?
LW: Lamela. Not that we'd need any more wingers, but Coco was special, just like 'Hos. Still rough around the edges, but undeniably talented. I'd like to see him paired with Salah and SES one day. Our heads would explode,but out of ecstasy or frustration? That's the question.
ST: Toni. The numbers speak for themselves. If it's at Palermo, Bayern, Fiorentina, Roma or Hellas Verona, wherever Luca comes, he scores. And that's exactly what we are missing, even after the signing of Dzeko. A target man, somebody who scores goals left and right, almost blindfolded. Luca's your man. And he knows Serie A inside out.
RW: Vucinic. Menez, Ljajic, Taddei ... They're decent, even good footballers, but I miss a bit of craziness in our attack. Unpredictability. A flash of ingenuity. He's only 32, good enough to contribute in Spalletti's system. And Luciano himself would love to work with the Montenegrin once more.
Line-up: Curci / Cafu Marquinhos Benatia Riise / Brighi Aquilani / Giuly / Lamela Toni Vucinic.
Feel free to post your line-up of former Roma players (you may pick one retired footballer like I did) who would be a big help this season