If the season’s first four matches are any indication, depth in the midfield will be an issue for Roma, to say the least. While Radja Nainggolan, Daniele De Rossi and Kevin Strootman present one of the most physically imposing midfields in the league, if not the entire sport itself, they’re only three men, one of whom is recovering from multiple knee operations and one of whom is a walking red card, so the manner in which Luciano Spalletti rotates men off the bench will go a long way in dictating how successful Roma is in closing out matches this season...ahem.
With Alessandro Florenzi, Leandro Paredes and Gerson at his disposal, you wouldn’t think this would be a huge issue. Florenzi is experienced in a variety of roles, Paredes is as talented as any kid in the league while Gerson represents the great unknown. Yet, despite all that, you get the sensation that Spalletti isn’t exactly comfortable with these options, at least not yet.
All of this has led to rampant transfer speculation, the most recent of which would see Roma take on Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere, the once gleaming apple of England’s eye. Due to his own injury spells and increased competition at Arsenal, Wilshere has reportedly requested a move away from the Gunners, one which Arsene Wenger is apparently ready to accommodate, at least on a temporary basis.
Several English outlets have picked up on the story—with several other clubs mentioned as possible destinations—but the Telegraph went into greater depth. Wilshere would seem tailor made for what Roma is currently lacking—a midfielder who can pick out that final pass—but there are several hurdles Roma must clear.
Former Tottenham Hotspur director of football Franco Baldini is working as a transfer consultant for Roma and was in England over the weekend.
Baldini already knows Wilshere from his time working as assistant to Fabio Capello, when he was manager of the England national team.
Arsenal would have no problem with Wilshere moving to Roma, where the slower pace and less physical style of football would be good for him but money may well be an issue.
Although Wilshere is by no means among Arsenal’s highest earners, Roma are struggling for cash and may not be able to pay his full £90,000-a-week salary.
That means Arsenal would have to agree to subsidise Wilshere’s wages while he was away for a move to Roma to go through before Wednesday’s transfer deadline.
In true Roma fashion, it looks like this will come down to wages. Based on the available press, it seems as though Valencia may be Roma’s chief rival for Wilshere’s signature, at least among non-Premiership clubs, but with Arsenal’s reluctance to deal Wilshere to a direct competitor, and with the two clubs current working relationship (see Szczesny), Roma may have the inside track toward Wilshere.
Odds are this will amount to nothing, but as far as last minute transfer rumors go, it’s pretty intriguing.