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Mario Rui Suffers ACL Injury

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Roma’s new left back, Mario Rui, suffered an ACL injury in training yesterday and seems set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines. Where will Roma turn in his absence?

Empoli FC v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

You know what they say, when it rains it pours. As if Roma weren’t having enough trouble cobbling together a cogent defense—not to mention hanging onto Kostas Manolas—they were just dealt another blow. After falling to an injury at yesterday’s training session, the worst has been, or soon will be, confirmed; Mario Rui has torn the ACL in his left knee, making him the third Roma player to succumb to such an injury this summer, joining Antonio Rüdiger and Nura from the youth squad. {Update: the club confirms the injury, but not the severity}

While the club has yet to release an official medical update, virtually every Roma-related media outlet/blog has jumped on the report. Much like Rüdiger’s injury, the actual circumstances leading up to Rui’s tear were rather innocuous, just a simple collision with fellow fullback Moustapha Seck, who know becomes a more intriguing name in Rui’s absence.

At minimum, we can expect Rui to be sidelined until early spring, while the more likely scenario is that he’s going for the entire season, leaving Roma with a sizeable gap in their rotation, and making their inability to resign Lucas Digne even more frustrating (yes, the two are in no way related, but we love Digne around here).

Now, just who mans the left back spot is anyone’s guess. With a month remaining in the summer transfer window, our biggest fear would see the club sell Leandro Paredes in a panic to fill the now vacant left back spot. While I hope that’s a long shot, the more plausible scenario would see Emerson Palmieri get some serious minutes at left back.

It’s an interesting proposal in many ways; the kid is clearly talented (in fact, he’s making a surprise appearance in our forthcoming U23 prospect countdown) but you get the sense that he’s a Mancini in the making; a kid who will flourish in a more attacking role, so this temporary move back to left back could ultimately hamper his development.

Beyond Palmieri, Roma’s only in house options are Vasilis Torosidis or Seck himself. Given the lack of bona fide options currently under contract, the market option remains alluring, particularly someone like Domenico Criscito, with whom Luciano Spalletti is intimately familiar and could be had for less than €10 million (come to think of it, he should have been the option all along, right?).

While not everyone was on board with the Rui move in the first place, losing him at this juncture of the offseason can’t be painted as anything other than a negative; it throws further shade onto Roma’s biggest problem area and sets them up for yet another season of last minute defensive additions.