Earlier in the week, we boldly predicted that Leandro Pardes would be the Roma-related story to follow for the remainder of the summer, and well, here we are. With everyone from Zenit to Manchester City and now even Leicester City after his signature, the Paredes train shows no signs of slowing down.
We’ve been long aware of his talent, but last season at Empoli it really came to the fore, as he showed poise and creativity well beyond his years. Considering all the potential he’s yet to tap, it would seem crazy that Roma would potentially mortgage the future by getting rid of him so soon.
However, Roma is most assuredly a team built for the present and led by a win-now manager. Potential and prospects are all well and good, and are a necessary part of the game in the long run, but they mean precious little to a man like Spalletti. And as the summer wears on, it looks increasingly likely that Paredes will fall victim to these circumstances.
So when we read the news that Leicester is not only prepared to meet but exceed Roma’s €20 million evaluation of Paredes, we should be worried. Worried not only that Roma are yet again forsaking a talented kid, but leaving the squad with a gaping hole in midfield.
Making matters worse, beyond Borja Valero (who would really, at this point in the summer, be the best win-now type of replacement) all the names connected in Paredes wake are...well...prospects, including Youri Tielemans and Hakim Ziyech.
Whether or not these two kids are considered better prospects than Paredes is irrelevant, the mere fact that they’d offload one kid, presumably because they’re in a win-now mode, and bring in another is absolutely maddening. Valero is 31-years-old and might give you two years of peak production, so why not just loan Paredes out again rather than an outright sale?
This all comes against the backdrop of Roma rebuffing Milan for Paredes, so they may very well value him afterall. The lesson in all this: don’t try to understand Roma, you’ll only end up frustated.