Ah, the beginning of September. Probably one of the toughest times of the year for a football fan. Just when you thought Serie A was back in action and your weekends were finally complete again, FIFA decides to throw in a two week hiatus to screw everything up. Add in the fact that the transfer window is closed and the media goes from news almost every minute to pretty much.....nothing.
But do not fear! We here at CdT are bringing the Mercato back once more, this time to give it a full look and review. As always, join us in the comments section and feel free to share your thoughts on the questions!
1. There are tons of new faces at Trigoria this year. Out of all the newcomers this mercato, who are you most excited about?
ASRCanes: I would love to say Patrik Schick obviously, but the fee and hoopla surrounding his transfer have me kind of panicking on the inside. I know this is different than the Iturbe situation, but after that fiasco I am going to calm my expectations for Schick. With that said, I’ll go with Kolarov. I know he isn’t the flashiest or youngest of our signings, but I am pumped to have a set piece specialist back in this squad. Add in the fact that he’s one of if not the best LB this club has had in the past 15 years and there you go.
Bren: Shick is the obvious choice, but I’ll still lean towards Cengiz Under simply because he has a bit more of the unknown surrounding him, not that Schick is a finished product by any means, but I think Under can become something special.
JonAS: Ünder gets me all excited down ünder as well, Bren. But I’ll go for Kolarov. His transfer reminds me of Tonetto’s one. And you know how that one turned out. That and the fact that he’s the only decent fullback among a graveyard of torn ACL’s.
Sam: I was a big fan of Pellegrini last year and obviously the Roma youth connection makes his signing all the more colourful. While I’m not expecting him to be a dominant force this year, it’ll be nice to see him grow.
2. Let’s go in the opposite direction for a second. Which signing are you most skeptical about?
ASRCanes: As I mentioned in the season preview roundtable, I am not the biggest fan of the Karsdorp signing. Granted, this is short sighted of me since the guy has yet to even step on the pitch for Roma, but for the fee involved at a position that the team seemed OK at, I just didn’t see the need for his transfer.
Bren: I suppose at this point, I’ll lean towards Hector Moreno simply because he hasn’t played, and what little we did see in the pre-season wasn’t terribly impressive. I expect he’ll be supplanted as the third centerback before too long.
JonAS: With hindsight, I preferred Roma to go for a true right winger after getting Schick instead of going for Defrel. A combo Mahrez-Schick and the Scudetto race was wide open. But that would have been too expensive perhaps. I’m by no means skeptical about any players that arrived. It”s not like they’re the next comings of Loria, Spolli or Ibarbo, right? They all proved (in Italy or somewhere else) that they got the goods to deliver.
Sam: Defrel. I don’t buy into the bullshit that his signing was an investment between Sassuolo and Roma’s relationship. And even if you do believe this, why the hell wouldn’t you target Berardi? I just don’t see where the on field opportunity for Defrel is going to come, excluding a catastrophic injury to Dzeko, as the Bosnian is a player who thrives when spending more time on the field not less.
3. Roma also had a ton of departures this summer. Who were you most disappointed to see leave the club? (Besides Mohammed Salah, since that was basically a forced sale)
ASRCanes: Juan Iturbe. The kid had so much heart and it tears me apart that Roma felt that his time at the club was up. (On a serious note, I will really miss Antonio Rudiger’s social media game/presence on the pitch, and I had high hopes for Riccardo Marchizzia and hope he gets solid minutes at Sassuolo).
Bren: I’ll still with Leandro Paredes because, well, because he’s exactly what this team needs--someone to push the pace of play from deep. He may not turn out to be Andrea Pirlo, but he’s a hell of a talent and one I fear we’ll regret losing.
JonAS: Really? No one said Totti? Well he didn’t really ‘leave’ but yeah, he and Salah hurted the most. Paredes too but not as much as Salah, due to his inferior numbers (goals, assists). If Gerson comes along nicely, then Paredes will be long forgotten.
Sam: Personally I think Leo Paredes is going to be an absolute gem of a midfielder for years to come and flipping him the same year the transfer market went bonkers is a catastrophic mistake. However, from Roma’s first few performances I actually think the sale of Rudiger is going to bite us in the arse the most.
4. We recently had our top ten youth talents countdown, with several of the nominees heading out on loan. Which Roma youngster that went out on loan this summer are you most excited to follow?
ASRCanes: Tumminello. After getting to watch him in preseason I am excited to see how he can grow. His loan to Crotone looks promising; Falcinelli has left and they seem to be stocking up on young strikers on loan. Here’s to hoping Marco makes his mark and beats the others out for solid minutes.
Bren: I’ll have to agree with you here, he certainly looks capable of playing in the top filght already, so he’ll definitely be one to watch this year.
JonAS: Seck and Sadiq. Especially Sadiq though. Torino seems a good and stable environment for a youngster to develop (like Sassuolo). Let’s hope Miha can turn him into a stud sooner or later. Then he can be our black Batistuta… Never mind, we’ll probably sell him for 5m and a pack of Fruit Loops.
Sam: I’m not allowed to say Ricci anymore am I? I think I’ll split this one between Daniele Verde (Hellas) and Luca Pellegrini (ACL Rehab FC).
5. So with all of that out of the way, on a scale of 1-10, how do you rate the mercato?
ASRCanes: Call me a realist, call me a pessimist. I’ll give it a 5/10. Too much turnover, some of which was forced upon the club (Spalletti, Salah) and some that the club seemingly forced upon itself (Totti, Rudiger). I loved the Paredes transfer and what we replaced him with (Gerson being alive, Pellegrini, Gonalons, and some cash money). However, Rudiger was never replaced (I love Moreno/Fazio as back-ups but not starters) and the Salah loss was brutal and never taken care of directly. Part of me thinks EDF can make it all work and I’ll be happily surprised in a few months, and then the other part knows that he’ll be gone in January and next summer will be another rebuild. Either way, it’s yet another summer/fall of new faces and adjustments.
Bren: I’ll give it a 5/10 for 2017 and potentially 10/10 for the future. In the immediate sense, the only player that represents an upgrade is Kolarov, and even that is debatable if we had a healthy Emerson Palmieri. But bringing in Schick, Under and Karsdorp along with Lorenzo Pellegrini could fill a lot of holes for a lot of years in the future.
JonAS: 7/10. Monchi really worked his ass off this Summer and probably deserves an 8 or even 8.5 but the sales of Salah and Rüdiger can have a negative impact on Roma in the end. Schick, Ünder and Kolarov were good deals while Karsdorp and Defrel were a bit too pricy for my taste. I have a feeling Roma are slightly inferior compared to last season. However, we can only judge this mercato by December/January and Roma’s place in the standings.
Sam: 5/10. Another year, another rebuild. The fact that we have weakened ourselves the same year the Champions LEague spots extend to fourth is maddeningly suspicious. I’m not convinced the Americans are serious about a Scudetto tilt. The best moves made however have been the younger players like Schick (I’m a believer) and Under. Despite the acquisition of Kolarov I still don’t trust our defence to bail us out of jail and it is going to be seriously tough for EDF to get this team as presently constructed balanced out on the pitch.
(Here is where the comment section implodes and demands that Jimmy take over CdT)
6. And since Roma’s opponents’ mercati are almost as important as their own, which team in Serie A do you feel had the best Mercato?
ASRCanes: For me it’s a tie between Napoli and Hellas. Napoli had an excellent mercato in that they held onto their core and filled in some cracks on the bench as well. As for Hellas, they had quite the impressive mercato for a promoted side, adding some great veterans on free deals (Cerci/Caceres) and some solid young talent on loan (Kean/Verde).
Bren: Has to Milan, I’m not sure where else you could look; they completely remade their team yet it’s Suso and Cutrone leading the charge, two young players that they seemingly overlooked in the past. Once they get that thing rolling, watch out.
JonAS: Agree with Bren and Canes’ choices. Also Inter, Torino, Juve did some good deals. And Sampdoria, Fiorentina and Lazio as well. Hmmm, only that Roma side seems a bit disjointed. I expect them to lead the relegation race by December! (I kid, I kid)
Sam: Milan of course. If Inter had of been able to land some of their targets I’d say them. I’m also very impressed that Napoli have kept everyone together and of course Juve flew under the radar despite bringing in quality players.
7. And continuing that theme, who do you feel was the best transfer (player) in Serie A?
ASRCanes: I have a feeling it will end up being Douglas Costa for Juve. Once he settles in, I think he can really offer them something different than the current squad and he’ll be motivated to prove that he’s still a huge talent.
Bren: Just based on talent and opportunity, I’d have to go with Bonucci to Milan. He’s still a top player and will fill just as large a role with Milan as he did with Juve.
JonAS: Kessie, Borja Valero, Matuidi, in that order.
Sam: Bonucci is too obvious an answer so I’m going to go with Valero for Inter.
Your Turn: Rate Roma’s Mercato
This poll is closed