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Keeping Up With Roma’s Loan Players

Gonalons, Gerson, Antonucci, Sadiq and more...

We roundup how Roma’s dry loans are doing, a quarter of the way through the 2018/19 season. While there are far more Roma youth players out on loan than just the names mentioned here, we figured we’d keep it to the more high profile names at this stage.

Daniele Verde - Real Valladolid

Diminutive forward Verde is still capable of raising the roof on his day, even if his day comes around too infrequently.

Just a few weeks ago, he was getting a standing applause from Il Fenomeno Ronaldo. The occasion? Verde’s long-range free kick equalizer against Espanyol - his only goal so far in 6 La Liga appearances.

For Verde’s part, his mind is made up: he’s never coming back. Neither to Roma nor Italy.

“I feel at home in Valladolid,” Verde told the Gazzetta dello Sport, “and the change of country, culture or football hasn’t affected me in the least. I feel like I’ve lived here for years. I’ve dreamt of playing in Spain since I was a kid, I hope that Valladolid sign me for good and I play here for a long time. I’ve never felt this good in my life.”

Mirko Antonucci - Pescara

Antonucci has been firmly involved in Pescara’s Serie B promotion bid, save for a minor muscle injury that kept him out for a couple of games at the end of October. He’s yet to find the net for Eusebio di Francesco’s hometown club, but he insists goals will come.

“Here I feel good,” Antonucci said to Il Messagero. “We’ve also got an excellent coach [in Giuseppe Pillon], even on a personal level. If we’re top of the table, it’s all credit to him.”

No one quite knows how far the two-footed attacker can go yet. He’s been called up to the Italy U-20s for the Eight Nations tournament this week so he’s kept his Azzurini career alive.

The local and regional papers have compared Antonucci to Roma players distant and recent past - all the way from Bruno Conti to Caprari and Politano.

Andrea Romagnoli - Renate

Romagnoli is lost in the wilderness in Northern Italy, so far used only as a cup keeper for loan club Renate. His main problem are Renate are knocked out of all cups by now.

Romagnoli’s Coppa Italia appearance for the Serie C club involved letting in two goals to Serie D side Rezzato, in a 2-0 upset loss in late July. He was given another start in the Coppa Serie C on Halloween - keeping a clean sheet in regular and extra time, only to be knocked out on penalties.

Elio Capradossi - Spezia

We’ve been here before with Capradossi, and it just ain’t working out for him. Spezia is yet another lower league club where he’s struggling to fit and earn the trust of a coach.

Capradossi has collected only 3 appearances at Spezia so far, and SerieBnews is reporting that Roma are yet again looking to prematurely terminate his loan and find a new club for Capradossi in January.

Umar Sadiq - Glasgow Rangers

The less said about Sadiq’s spell in Scotland, the better. The Nigerian striker had played only 26 minutes for Steven Gerrard at the start of the season, before the Rangers manager froze him out of the squad. Gerrard criticised Sadiq for lacking the right attitude to make it as a professional footballer.

Then Sadiq looked like he’d be welcome back from the wildnerness in late October, with Gerrard handing him a full 90-minute game against Aberdeen in the Scottish League Cup semi-final. Not only did Rangers lose that game, but Sadiq got booked for diving when he chose to go down in the box rather than finish off an easy one-on-one chance.

The media are already predicting Sadiq’s time in Scotland is finished.

Gerson - Fiorentina

We’ve more or less seen how Gerson is doing in Florence, after the 1-1 draw against Roma two weeks ago. The Brazilian started off life with Fiorentina in top gear, coming up with both a goal and assist on his Serie A debut for the Viola.

ACF Fiorentina v AS Roma - Serie A Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Since then, he’s been limited to working as a ball-carrier in a very dysfunctional Fiorentina 4-3-3 midfield. His ball protection has come on leaps and bounds, but another attacking player lacking end-product isn’t something Roma are short of right now.

Maxime Gonalons - Sevilla

For all the talk of Roma needing another deep-lying midfielder, remember that they already have a very capable one on the books in Gonalons. The Frenchman started off his Sevilla career very well, even getting amongst the goals on the European stage. But his early season form was cut short by injury - Gonalons fractured his leg (fibula) in training at the beginning of September.

Two months after that injury, Gonalons has returned to training but will need to work hard to regain career momentum.