Well, it looks as if Lucas Digne's time in Rome has come to an end. Despite what seemed like weekly pronouncements by Digne's agent saying that he wished to say with Roma, Walter Sabatini & Co. have signaled that they have officially moved on from the 22-year old left-back by finding a replacement. In his stead? Mario Rui of Empoli, A.S. Roma's Next Great Hope for the left-back position.
This one's been rumored for months now, so it shouldn't come as a big surprise, but nevertheless it makes sense to take a quick look at Rui to see what he's made of. Statistically he doesn't exactly jump off the page, with only 2 assists in 3240 minutes last season (and a worrisome six yellow cards tacked on for good measure). However, some of his more detailed stats look a bit better, with 89 interceptions made (compared to Digne's 63) and a similar pass completion rate to the Frenchman (81 percent to 82 percent).
Something that should also be noted is that Roma recently completed the transfer of 20-year-old Senegalese left-back, Moustapha Seck. Signed on a free transfer from Lazio, Seck looks to be the man that Sabatini hopes can eventually replace Digne as the young full-back with potential on the squad. It remains to be seen if Seck even breaks into the first team this season, but perhaps the Roma management felt more comfortable cutting bait on Digne with Seck in the bag.
I personally had been hoping that the negotiation for Digne would lead to a permanent stay for him at the Olimpico, but that's water under the bridge. It appears that we now have a cheap, (relatively) young replacement with Serie A experience. Nine million euros is the rumored redemption price, so let's hope that Mario Rui proves to be worth that valuation and more.
Welcome to Roma, Mario. Hopefully your stay is of the longer variety.