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Totti Today: Mercato Musings

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JonAS looks back at a hot and sweaty transfer Summer, Monchi’s maiden mercato at Rome

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

Summers always tend to be a heated affair. Something that makes you sweaty and warm inside. You know, for example the actress Summer Glau or Summer Quin from the latest Baywatch flick. Or the girl Summer portrayed by Zooey Deschanel in 500 Days of Summer. Man, I can go on forever! So much Summers I love!

In a way, Roma’s Summer was just like that: Not for the faint of heart, intriguing and lots of drama, as usual, but with a tasteful cherry on top. We sold a couple of big fishes for quite some cash, basically sniffed around Mahrez’ ass for 8 weeks but then walked away like a beaten dog and ultimately beat Juve, PSG, Inter etc. for Schick’s signature. The Czech is now Roma’s most expensive transfer ever (if all bonuses are matched of course). So if we look at each department, how did Monchi, our Spanish Wizard, do?

Goalkeepers

I’ll start with Lobont, who’s legendary by now and one of the longest serving members of the team, next to Daniele. Yeah, guess what, he stayed this Summer. Alisson took the no1 from Scheeez who left for Juve, so that’s almost a like-for-like replacement.

Surprisingly, Skorupski stayed as well, which means Roma may have one of the best second-choice keepers in Italy in their ranks. All this while Alisson may turn into a bigger stud than Woj by January (and therefore is worth a lot of money. Don’t worry, I know how American think). Well done, Monchi! A

Defense

Roma’s Achilles’ Heel since ages. Buying a broken Karsdorp for almost 20m isn’t the most clever thing our management did since 2011. Moreno and Kolarov were steals though, cheap but with domestic and international experience. They also enforce our left side, which was the Achilles Heel of our Achilles’ Heel AKA a very weak spot.

Peres and Manolas stayed while Jesus has shown glimpses of talent against Atalanta. Fazio might be benched because he’s less ideal for Eusebio’s system but a nice bench option nonetheless, plus a threat on corners. We eagerly await Emerson’s comeback but until the meantime Kolarov has that covered for now while I’m pretty excited to see Karsdorp in action.

Downside: I did expect a real upgrade at CB, genre Nacho, Boateng or Nastasic. We have too many ‘ok’ footballers now, and too few pillars like Manolas or Kolarov. But hey, at least Castan is still around and Gyomber is gone! C

Midfield

This was rapidly settled between Di Francesco and Monchi: get his boy Pellegrini from Sassuolo, keep Gerson and get a cheap but decent alternative for Daniele. Gonalons was a steal while Pellegrini is extremely talented and can play a lot of positions in midfield. Radja renewed his contract, that alone is enough to throw a little party at Trigoria.

All pieces were already in place by July 3 so you can say Monchi acted as swift as Taylor Swift herself and gave Eusebio a wealth of options to choose from, before preseason even started. Including Florenzi, there are now 7 bodies for 3 positions. Good job, we’re stacked in this department. Yet we still lack that creative spark, the void left by P&P: Pjanic and Paredes. A

Attack

How can a club survive when they sell 1) their icon and 2) one of its best players in the space of 3 weeks? Salah left while Totti stayed but this time in a suit and not training jacket (he looks sexy in both though). How would Monchi replace all those goals? First off, by buying another one of Eusebio’s pupils: Gregoire Defrel. The price was a little steep but he can turn into a very decent option coming off the bench. But starting against Juve, Atletico or Chelsea? Meh.

Monchi also introduced us to Ünder, a Turkish ‘wünder’ boy who already showed some nice skills in preseason and during his debut against Inter. Last but certainly not least, Schick was the man who would lure 100 000 200 people to the airport! It was also quite the statement from Roma, his price can rise up to 42m. Not a small fee.

Our top scorer, Dzeko, is still present and not sold to China or USA. Edin already scored a goal in two Serie A games, the same tally as last season. Hey, one can hope, right? Together with SES and Perotti, they must drag Roma through hard times and iron defenses in Italy and Europe. I’m ok with that, but seeing Salah score for Liverpool still stings.

On the other hand, putting Iturbe on a plane to Mexico, the land of Machete and Carlos Santana, was a masterstroke from Monchi. He also got rid of Doumbia so he earns this grade. Too bad he wasted too much time going after Mahrez. B

Feel free to post your grades in the comments below! Did Monchi pass the test or did he messed up? In that case, we’ll always have Winter... Actress Katia Winter. Damn she’s hot!