Another day, another fullback rumor. While yesterday’s discussion centered around Roma’s pursuit of Torino’s Bruno Peres, who is also being hotly pursued by Watford, today we turn our eyes to England once more. Roma’s last solution to their eternal fullback dilemma is apparently Manchester City’s 31-year-old Argentine defender Pablo Zabaleta.
La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Roma have submitted a €3 million offer for the Citizen’s no longer quite as necessary right back, though they’re apparently facing some last minute competition from Inter MIlan.
Last time Roma tapped the City well for a fullback, it worked out pretty well. Despite his ignominious decline, Maicon’s tenure with Roma has to be considered a success; when he was in form, whether it was under Rudi Garcia or Luciano Spalletti, Roma’s attack was humming.
Zabaleta is surely not Maicon, but what are we potentially getting here?
Zabaleta has been a stalwart for Manchester City since he arrived in 2008, making over 300 appearances and earning multiple titles with the Citizens. But that’s the past, what are Roma really getting here?
What if I told you Roma were getting a 31-year-old defender who not only missed 19 games to injury last season, but had ankle surgery barely a month ago, forcing him out of the Copa America, would that be something you’d interested in?
Didn’t think so. If this were nothing more than a depth move, fine, sign me up, but with little in the way of concrete updates on the Bruno Peres situation, there are pretty fair odds that Zabaleta would see significant minutes with Roma next season; a prospect that should frighten us all.
At this point in the summer, we simply don’t know how the squad will fill out--they may very well, as has been rumored, go with a three man backline next season, in which case, we can presume Florenzi would be the right wingback—but this is yet another example of Roma putting a bandaid on a bullet wound.
Retread after retread is getting the club nowhere. Zabaleta is old, injured and offers little in terms of offensive production.
This is not progress, it's stagnation.