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Totti Today #96: Project Paredes

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"Should I stay or should I go?" The Clash's song is basically a serenade for Leandro Paredes, Roma's anual Summer enigma. His future is still up in the air, while it should be plain simple: Unlike Castan this Leo needs to stay.

Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

We already got to say one painful goodbye this Summer to another Leandro, Castan, a second Leandro leaving would do more harm than good to the club. Every year there seems to be one name, one file that drags on the entire mercato. Last year it was the search for a striker. Dzeko was coming, not coming, coming, not coming and eventually he signed but it was already mid August, not exactly a great timing as pre-season was nearly done. It messes with the preparation and rarely has a positive influence.

Now that Paredes rejoined Roma after a succesful spell at Empoli and has witnessed the pre-season camp from the beginning, Roma are looking to sell Paredes to fund the buys of, badum tiss, another midfielder. Logic, where are thou? As talented as Diawara from Bologna is, Paredes already knows his team mates, isn't a cancer in the locker room, in fact he's a nice guy, and guess what, he has talent!!

While Diawara might be better on a physical level, Paredes knows a thing or two about controlling a midfield as well. If he can dictate play at a club like Empoli, than he can sure as hell repeat that trick in Rome where he will feature alongside better and smarter footballers (with all due respect to the Tuscan side). Kevin, Radja, Daniele, Totti, Salah and Perotti, they all know how to move and pass a ball, it can only benefit Leandro's growth and integration into this side.

Will they never learn? After all these years, Roma sold a massive amount of talent: from Pjanic and Bertolacci to Romagnoli and Lamela to Marquinhos and Jedvaj. They also let go of diamonds like Digne, Ucan and Sanabria while others like Vainqueur and Torosidis stayed. Paredes could the umpteenth victim who could blossom somewhere else. Yes, he would bring in much needed money but at what costs, if they plan on buying a slightly younger kid?

There are few who can bring a creative spark to our midfield. Pjanic is gone while Gerson still has to play a single minute of Serie A action. A midfield needs a good mix and Roma has that in its disposal right now, messing with that would be a shame. While Juve is looking at the bigger picture and buying all the right pieces with a deadly efficient precision, the management of Roma is discussing the possible sale of its gem for over 2 months now.

Wanna close the gap with Juve? Simple: Keep the good ones who don't complain and buy reinforcements where needed. That means: Not in midfield but in defence. It's not science. Pjanic wanted to go, so did Benatia. Shame but the club needs to act professional and grant them their wishes. But Paredes, he has no intention of going anywhere and is highly motivated. What could you possibly want more?

Recently Spalletti came out and compared Paredes to David Pizarro; That's a very big compliment as the little Chilean was one of the pillars of Spalletti's Udinese side and later he followed Poohab to AS Roma. Between 2006 and 2010, he won 2 Coppe and a Supercoppa under the guidance of Luciano. If there's one man who can bring out the best in Paredes, it's Spal. He usually demands a lot from his midfielders but they almost always perform at a high level: Perrotta, Mancini, Pizarro, Giuly, Taddei, the De Rossi from 2006-2008...

Worst case scenario: Paredes flops and ends on the bench? You can still look for an alternative in January or next Summer, he won't lose a lot of his price tag thanks to his age. But right now we don't have the funds to 1) keep Paredes and 2) buy Diawara. Choices need to be made. And my choice is clear: Hands off Leo Paredes.

After Pizarro and Pjanic, it's time for Project Paredes to initiate.