We started the CdT Thinktank series awhile back as a means to promote discussion, and if I’m being honest to lighten the writing load, but the intent was clear: Roma makes fools and geniuses of us all, so why not promote that discussion and debate? In the past we’ve tackled the Woj vs Alisson debate, a plan to make Roma more like Juve, and even once asked why do we care so much about Roma’s finances?
While those pieces varied in their level of immediacy and potential impact, today’s topic is both prompt and profound: you can only keep one, who gets the boot, Kostas Manolas or Antonio Rüdiger?
And lest you think this is being conjured out of thin air, take a look at today’s headlines. Inter Milan are reportedly prepping a €40 million offer for Manolas, while Antonio Conte’s minions will likely be scouting Rüdiger when he takes the pitch for the Germany-England this evening, and are reportedly prepared to meet Roma’s €35 million valuation.
In order to facilitate this debate, here’s a tale of the tape.
Years with Roma: Three
Market Value: €28M
Position(s): Center back
Best Attributes: Speed, aerial duels, passing
Manolas made his mark relatively quickly after arriving as Mehdi Benatia’s ostensible replacement in the summer 2014 and has amassed over 120 appearances for Roma (all comps), while scoring two goals and partnering with everyone from Leandro Castan to Federico Fazio.
Years with Roma: Two
Market Value: €15M
Position(s): Centerback, Right back, Left back
Best Attributes: Athleticism, versatility
Rüdiger was taken on as a speculative play, arriving on a €4 million loan from Stuttgart. After suffering a spate of injuries for the beleaguered German club, Rüdiger was looking for a place to rejuvenate his young career and found the perfect landing spot in Rome, making an impression straight away. During his first season in Rome, Rüdiger made 30 appearances, scoring two goals and completing 87% of his passes.
You Make The Call
As a tandem there can be no argument, few clubs on earth has two central defenders as athletic or as dynamic as Manolas and Rüdiger, and in a perfect world they’d grow old together, marshalling Roma’s defense to title after title. But we know that’s not how life, and especially not Roma, works—one of these kids is going to be the sacrificial lamb.
So which one do you keep?