While we spent the morning discussing the inner workings of the Walter Sabatini-James Pallotta relationship, it’s only right we end the day focusing on his successor, Monchi. Time will ultimately tell how much space the Spaniard puts between himself and his Italian predecessor, but in the early runnings Monchi has him beat in one key facet of the job, pacing. We’re approximately one month away from the new season and Monchi has all but finished Roma’s business for the summer.
Granted that last remaining bit—presumably Riyad Mahrez—may be the most important signing of them all, but it doesn’t cloud the point; Monchi doesn’t pull many punches and he doesn’t waste time. Roma’s capture of Aleksandar Kolarov is emblematic of this approach, much in the same way last week’s signing of Cengiz Under showed how swiftly and how surreptitiously this man moves.
A week ago, hell, four days ago, no one was mentioning Kolarov as a possibility for Roma, but here we are; not only has he been signed, he’s already in Boston training with his new teammates. Strange days indeed, this is such a marked departure from Sabatini’s patented August 31st swoops, it’s hard to wrap your mind around the concept. Building a team in July! My stars, what will they think of next?
Kolarov comes to Rome, well Boston, on a €5 million straight sale from Manchester City, as the now 31-year-old left back was deemed redundant by Pep Guardiola and the sky blue residents of Manchester. While with City, Kolarov won multiple titles, including the FA Cup, the League Cup (2x) and the Premiership (2x), serving as a pivotal figure in each run.
While he’s not warm and friendly in front of the camera apparently, Kolarov is sure to make his new teammates smile with his versatility, athleticism and crossing ability (what a concept). In the short run, look for Kolarov to get the lion’s share of the minutes on the left flank while Emerson Palmieri recovers from his ACL injury. His solid game, crossing ability, and defensive acumen should prove a decent counter to Bruno Peres’ bursts forward.
Kolarov showed little, if any, hesitation in moving to Roma after spending time on the opposite side of town, saying simply, “I am extremely happy to be here, I will give 100 per cent and more for Roma. My objective is always the same: to win.”
In joining the team so quickly, Kolarov is setting himself up for an opening day start, where he can hopefully rekindle some of his former magic with Edin Dzeko.