Since it’s Easter Sunday, we might as well talk about Jesus, right? Looking at Roma’s current squad, there is a glaring lack of loaves and fishes, to say nothing of miracles...wait, I meant accurate crosses and tactical flexibility. Rather than getting the son of man, it appears as though Roma are close to resurrecting the career of Jesus Navas, whose gospel hasn’t exactly spread like wildfire since moving to Manchester City several seasons ago.
Okay, enough with the flimsy biblical metaphors. Between Franck Kessie and now Navas, the Monchi-dominoes are already starting to fall into place, even if the man himself has yet to officially sign with Roma, or even admit he’s coming. However, if you dot the i’s and cross the lower case j’s, it seems like he’s already orchestrating Roma’s summer mercato from behind the scenes, presumably in some clandestine location between Sevilla and Roma, Mallorca most likely.
We know the rationale for throwing large money at Kessie—he’s young and incredibly talented—but what about Navas, why would Roma willingly offer a 31-year-old winger a three-year deal? Because, let’s be honest, Navas’ best days are long behind him. While never counted on as a goal scorer, Navas made his hay has a playmaker, dolling out 22 assists in league play in his first three seasons for the Citizens. This season, however, Navas has found playing time hard to come by, accumulating only 924 minutes in league play, registering neither a goal nor an assist.
But, what if I told you Navas is a latter day Rodrigo Taddei, is that something you’d be interested in?
Though he’s barely played for City, he’s shown a remarkable amount of versatility, making appearances literally all over the right flank. Navas has started as a right back, a right wingback, a right defensive midfielder, a right midfielder, a right attacking midfielder and a right forward. You don’t think Roma could have used someone like that this season?
Beyond Alessandro Florenzi, this squad is a collection of square pegs desperately being forced into round holes, and while Navas may be limited to the right side of the pitch, he would give Luciano Spalletti, or whoever is running the show next year, some much needed flexibility off the bench.
While no financial figures have been released, the Corriere del Sport speculates that Roma has offered Navas a three-year deal and will have to compete with his former club, Sevilla, for his services. Now, if Monchi isn’t in the picture, why would Navas even consider another club? Moving back to Sevilla, for whom he played since he was 15-years-old, would be a storybook ending for his pretty solid career. No, this smacks of Monchi all over, grabbing one of his former charges as a prime depth move for his new club. It’s happening.
But back to the point at hand, how would Navas fit in with Roma? Given that we’re not even into the summer silly season, it’s a bit hard to speculate, but if you look at Roma’s bench this season, what’s lacking? Experience and tactical flexibility, things which Navas would bring in spades.
So, depending on the contract figures and any corresponding moves, consider me on board with this one.