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Totti Today #90: Just a Mirage

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When the unthinkable becomes reality… One of the worst and painful transfers in AS Roma’s history is gonna happen, introducing a Summer full of question marks in Trigoria. Oh Miralem,…

Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Yesterday the Euros have kicked off, but it’s Roma that is causing a real fuss and controversy this week. First there was the contract extension of His Holiness, Francesco Totti (yaaay, finally!). Unfortunately, it was quickly followed by the news of Rüdiger’s serious injury only days after Roma bought him outright (major party pooper). And to top it all off, Roma is on the brink of selling its most prized asset, midfield magician Miralem Pjanic, to our main rival Juventus. Nota bene the Serie A champions of the past 5 seasons! For only € 30m!

Wow. What a series of Jean-Claude Van Damme roundhouse kick in the nuts. To be fair, I’m hugely disappointed and lost for words in Chiesa since a long time. Pratically everything disgusts me from this transfer: We lose a key player, donate him to a team I can’t stand and has literally won everything in Italy the past two seasons, for waaaay less money than intended and Pjanic’ heir is a 21-year-old boy who has had one decent loan spell at Empoli and still has a lot to prove in one of Italy’s hottest and craziest environments, namely Rome…

I simply can’t get my head around it. Finally, with the return of Kevin, we had a magnificent midfield lined up for 2016-2017 which was ready to aim for the title in Totti’s ultimate season. A midfield which needed no further additions. Keita and Ucan will leave, but Paredes and Gerson are the new faces. Florenzi and Perotti can operate there as well. And you know what, for shits and giggles, let’s keep Queer too, just in case. A group with different characteristics and attributes. A nice mix.

Now, with the upcoming Pjanic sale , it leaves a huge hole in that roster. A hole full of goals and assists. Who else in Rome is capable of producing that amount of goals AND assists? It’s too early to put that much responsability on the shoulders of Strootman. His return last season was good news, but he still has a long way to go to reach his form of 2013-2014.

Anyway, the void left by Miralem will be a big one. An integral part of this team since 2011, nearly 160 Serie A games and more importantly, he was rarely injured (only in 2012-2013 he didn’t reach 30+ games per season). My heart breaks when I think about selling Pjanic on my FIFA 16 account, or even bench him. It sounds silly, but it shows how indispensable he became over the years. Who will take the free-kicks now? Who will dictate play and outsmart the opponent? Who will launch through passes from midfield?

What Roma needs is a like-for-like replacement for Mira. Paredes could do it, but we need a plan B for sure. An Eriksen, Kovacic or Çalhanoğlu for example. Roma need to reinvest a part of the sale, for their own good. The Rüdiger injury comes at a really bad time, since now we’re also left with an emptiness at the centreback area. Only Manolas looks set to play a vital part in the 2016-2017 campaign, the rest looks expendable.

One week it took to blow it all up. AS Roma once again enters a Summer full of changes, and in the long run maybe even a transitional year. Again. Just when we were back on track with Spalletti to shorten the gap between us and the Bianconeri. Why did you do this to us, Mira? Why? Why break with your friends Dani, Francesco and Radja? Why Turin of all places? So many questions I’d like to ask him. But I guess it doesn’t matter anymore.

Until the official PDF is out, I’m still hoping that Miralem stays. That this is just a bad dream. A nightmare. An illusion. A mirage.