Last week we cautioned that the future of Leandro Paredes would be the storyline to follow in August. Paredes, the fourth ranked prospect in our U-23 countdown, is a tough player to peg down simply because he’s so young and relatively inexperienced. Is he an Andrea Pirlo type player, one who dictates from deep, is he an out and out attacking midfielder, or is he more of an in between Miralem Pjanic type? No one seems to know quite yet, and it’s that uncertainty that makes it so hard to figure out exactly where he figures in Roma’s future plans.
One thing is for certain, and one thing is undeniable, he is incredibly talented and, as we saw against Porto, he doesn’t back down from anyone under any circumstances. The mere fact that he got into such a critical match would seem to suggest there is a role, however small it may be, for him at Roma this season.
But is that role and is his potential enough to earn Luciano Spalletti’s patience, to say nothing of his trust? While Spalletti readily acknowledges Paredes’ talent, he’s been a bit ambiguous when asked about his role with this Roma squad.
Paredes is a strong player in our opinion, and we want to use him, but sometimes in a transfer market like this you can use strong players to fund the transfer market, so that affects everyone.
For that reason we can’t say what our thinking is absolutely, because there are so many things to be taken into account and that doesn’t just apply to Paredes. ..For me he’s a good player and he’ll stay at Roma.
That was last week when it seemed that Spalletti would begrudgingly keep Paredes, despite the allure of twenty-some-odd million euros and the manner in which he could spend it to round out the squad. This week, well, he’s singing a different song:
He cannot play regularly here. The idea to leave is his and not ours. He is a strong player, and [selling] players like him can open up some situations in the transfer market. Almost all teams need to cash in.
His idea and not ours...that carries a lot of weight. Whether it’s a passive aggressive ploy to get Paredes to write his own ticket out of town or not, we cannot say, but Spalletti is unequivocally putting the onus at his feet. Or is he?
General Manager Mauro Baldissoni shed a bit of light on the Paredes-Spalletti showdown:
He didn’t ask to leave...All Spalletti said was that he [Paredes] wants to play regularly, and thus might be inclined to accept if he had other offers. He’d never ask to leave, and it’s not only down to him in any case. He’s a Roma player, and both sides are happy about that.
So, to rehash this real quick: In one breath, the manager flat out says that the player asked to leave, then the club’s GM has to put out the fire by adding further context/confusion to Paredes’ actual words.
At this point, I’m not quite sure what to make of all this, except to say that Sam was absolutely right yesterday, this team needs psychological help ASAP; they have this sick compunction where they passive aggressively undermine each other, taking veiled and semi-veiled shots at one another, putting words into each other’s mouths and questioning each other’s motives.
It’s sick, it’s systemic and it could potentially cost Roma star in the making.