It’s a pretty slow newsday around the Romasphere, though I suppose that’s to be expected after such a resounding victory—no drama or rumors of players being dropped or coaches fired—so we’ll shift the focus to a somewhat forgotten member of the squad, Rick Karsdorp. Pretty Ricky, in case you forgot, tore his ACL during his club debut on October 26th against Crotone.
Since then Karsdorp has become a bit of a punchline and/or symbol of Roma’s somewhat misguided summer transfer campaign. We say ‘somewhat’ instead of ‘outright’ simply because Cengiz Under is single handedly rewriting the history books on Monchi’s first summer with the club. Between the injuries to Karsdorp and Patrik Schick, Gregoire Defrel’s struggles and Hector Moreno’s brief tenure with Roma, Monchi’s first summer at the helm was look like a bit of a disaster before the 20-year-old Turkish kid lit a flame under Roma’s ass.
But back to Karsdorp for a minute. While his potential €19 million transfer was somewhat divisive, he was supposed to, at the very least, compete with Bruno Peres for the right back spot, thereby allowing EDF to use Alessandro Florenzi in his more natural role(s). So when his ACL snapped, Roma’s right back plans sort of disappeared like a fart in the wind. With Peres’ continuing suckitude, the onus fell squarely on Florenzi’s own recuperating knees.
The results, as we’ve seen since then, have been inconsistent at best. Florenzi started well enough in the fall, but completely torpedoed once the calendar turned over to 2018 and is only just now recovering. Throw in Peres’ off the pitch issues, and depth at right back is suddenly a pressing issue.
So, if Karsdorp is correct in his assessment and he’ll return to training in two weeks, one would think he’s still looking at an additional two weeks to return to match speed, meaning we’re a month (at best) away from seeing this kid return to action, heaping further pressure on Florenzi to not only perform but to stay healthy.
And that’s without even mentioning what sort of shape he’ll be in when he does return, and that’s without even mentioning that we really have no idea what sort of player this kid will be for Roma.
He certainly looks the part, but in addition to putting more pressure on Florenzi, Peres’ uncertain future gives Roma more incentive to rush Karsdorp back, which, as we’ve seen with Florenzi and Kevin Strootman, can be disastrous.
So, take your time, Ricky. Roma can wait.