I like a good transfer rumor as much as the next guy or gal, they send the imagination adrift, off to a distant locale where Roma is fully stocked at each and every position, superstars bursting at the seams, each and everyone desperate to come to the Eternal City. However, for every Bruno Peres-type rumor, the fiscally feasible ones that actually make tactical sense, the rumor mongers of the world still bombard us with silly season absurdities, which, much like US elections, seems to start earlier and earlier every year.
So, with that in mind, I present to you the latest installment in our Ripping Apart the Rumor Series, the proposed sway of Leandro Paredes for Borja Valero.
Why it Makes Sense
We say it nearly every time the Roma-Fiorentina fixture roles around, but Valero is a criminally underrated player. Valero has been a mainstay since making the switch from Villareal, making 30 + league appearances in all but one season. Beyond his endurance, Valero has been a remarkably pliable asset for the boys in purple, turning in shifts at virtually every midfield position. But its what he does with the ball at his feet (duh) that makes Valero so special.
With 28 assists (and counting) over the past four domestic seasons, Valero has emerged as one of the league' s best playmakers, using his touch, vision and creativity to marshal the Viola attack up and down the pitch. Perhaps its because of his lack of flair or the Viola's relative anonymity, but too often Valero gets omitted from the discussion as one of Italy's finest attacking midfielders.
His poise, creativity and efficiency would make him an asset to any club in the league. As far as Paredes is concerned, the move makes sense for Fiorentina for a few simple reasons: he's young, inexpensive and incredibly talented, which leads us to....
Why it Doesn't Make Sense
Once again, he's young, inexpensive and incredibly talented, and as his time at Empoli has shown, he can already hack it in the tactically complex world of Italian football, so why on earth would Roma be so quick to dismiss him? Moreover, he's a full ten years younger than Valero. It would be one thing to swap Paredes for an equally talented and promising player at a position of need for Roma, but to sacrifice Paredes' youth, low wages and potential for a player already past his peak (though he's still quite good) just makes no sense.
Furthermore, with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City reportedly interested in plucking Paredes, why would Roma settle for such relatively low hanging fruit? Further furthermore (that's a thing, right?), with one of Miralem Pjanic or Radja Nainggolan heading for potential exists, Paredes stands to inherit substantial playing time, so it's not as if we have to wait to see what he can do in a Roma shirt.
I'll never give any of these rumors a zero, simply because Roma has astounded us all with her lack of prescience too many times to count, but for all reasons--tactical, financial and for posterity's sake--this proposed swap makes absolutely no sense. Don't get me wrong, I'd take Valero in a hearbeat, he'd be an ideal addition to Roma's midfield, especially if they lose key parts this summer, but not at the cost of Paredes, one of the clubs best building blocks.
The key to Roma's summer mercato is less about how much they'll spend but more about how much they can resist.