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Roma Faces a Tough Choice: Manolas or Rüdiger?

Its looking increasingly likely that Roma will part ways with one of their highly sought after central defenders. Who gets the chop?

FC Internazionale v AS Roma - Serie A Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

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.

Kostas Manolas

AS Roma v FC Internazionale - Serie A Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Age: 25

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.

Antonio Rüdiger

AS Roma v AC Chievo Verona - Serie A Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Age: 24

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?