To date, much of our winter transfer window coverage has focused on Roma's midfield depth, or lack thereof at certain spots. Due primarily to Daniele De Rossi's lingering injury woes and Eusebio Di Francesco's complete and utter lack of faith in Ante Coric, Roma's midfield, particularly the double pivot of Bryan Cristante and Steven Nzonzi, has logged some heavy minutes over the past two months. And, well, things just got worse.
Word broke loose today that Nzonzi, the elder of the two double pivot members, not to mention the one who played the entire summer with France during the World Cup, has just broken his toe; the fourth phalanx on his left foot to be exact, which is, I guess, the ring toe??
If it seems like we've discussed that appendage before, you're correct: Daniele De Rossi was felled by a similar injury back in the fall. Only in that instance, it was a fracture not an outright break, though, as it turned out, De Rossi's toes were the least of his worries, as he's been sidelined with a variety of meniscus issues.
As far as Nzonzi's prognosis is concerned, he is most definitely out for Roma's Coppa Italia match against Virtus Entella on the 14th, while their Round 20 match against Torino may be in jeopardy as well.
I've never broken a toe, so I can't speak to how that might inhibit one’s daily functioning, to say nothing of kicking a ball for 90 minutes against world class athletes, but suffice it to say this is the last thing Roma needed right now.
Without Nzonzi, we can only speculate how EDF will tinker with his lineup for those two matches (and possibly beyond), but the simplest solution may be to push Lorenzo Pellegrini back there, a role he occupied on several occasions this season. Ordinarily, this would spell doom for Roma's attack, as Pellegrini has really emerged as a playmaker this season, but with Nicolo Zaniolo stepping up over the past few months, Roma should be able to weather the storm with Pellegrini in a more defensive role while Nzonzi recovers.
It's not ideal, but barring a complete change of formation or a sudden swoop on the transfer market, Roma's best foot forward may be reigning in Pellegrini, so to speak.