Lost amid all the Genoa match coverage over the past day or so was some potential transfer news. With Roma searching far and wide to find a replacement for Mohamed Salah—why they need a permanent replacement for a guy who’s gone six weeks is beyond me—they may have finally found what they need rotting on the bench at London Stadium.
While the club’s preliminary search for a Salah stand-in ranged from Xherdan Shaqiri to Alejandro Gomez, it seems as though they have their heart set on West Ham’s Sofiane Feghouli, a 27-year-old Algerian winger, who was left off his nation’s AFCON roster.
After amassing over 200 appearances, scoring 30 goals and contributing 40 assists during his five plus seasons with Valencia, Feghouli made the switch to the Premiership to disastrous results. With nine appearances and only 177 minutes to his credit, Feghouli hasn’t exactly made his mark with West Ham, his biggest claim to fame being a red card against Manchester United, which was later rescinded.
Despite falling on his face with West Ham, Feghouli strung together a number of solid seasons with Valencia, grabbing 10 goals and 14 assists in league play between 2013 and 2015. Feghouli, nominally a right winger, is known for his ability to pick out a pass and deliver a tidy cross, two critically important elements for success in Luciano Spalletti’s sprawling attack.
At the moment, Roma has reportedly agreed to personal terms with Feghouli, believed to be on a loan with an option to buy, but are currently negotiating with West Ham to knock down the purchase price from €12 million to a more palatable €8 million, to which I ask why?
While I don’t doubt Feghouli can make a contribution for the remainder of the season, with Salah set to return in six weeks, and with Stephan El Shaarawy and Diego Perotti under contract, not to mention the fact that Juan Iturbe will return in June (make no mistake about that) and that they still hold options on Federico Ricci and Matteo Politano, why take on another winger?
Depth is a welcomed addition to this club, but for that kind of money (for a reserve), why not reinforce areas in greater need? If this were a straight six-month loan, then sure, go nuts, but why keep throwing wingers on the shelf when it’s already full?
This is a classic Rudi Garcia-era move, hell, he even speaks French.
That’s so passé.