Aleksandar Kolarov, the left-back on our Roma Team of the Decade, has been one of the more pleasant surprises in Roma's recent transfer history. Purchased for only €5 million two seasons ago, Kolarov has been worth every penny of that deal, pumping in 16 goals and 17 assists since joining the club in 2017. And the early returns in 2019 have been just as encouraging, as Kolarov has scored five goals and provided two assists, while playing every single minute of Serie A action.
While Kolarov is in impeccable playing shape, that last point should worry us all. As we saw last season, with no secondary option behind him, Kolarov sort of faded down the stretch. No matter how committed he is to the cause, when those 34-year-old legs cross the 2,500 minute mark, fatigue sets in. It's only natural.
With Kolarov, Leonardo Spinazzola, Davide Santon and Alessandro Florenzi in tow, it seemed like Roma had their full-back rotation set for 2019-2020, but thanks to injuries and inconsistencies, the club find themselves in the market for another full-back.
According to RomaPress, who have really been putting in work lately, Roma are interested in Rangers left-back Borna Barisic, a 27-year-old Croatian who has previously played for Osijek and Dinamo Zagreb in his homeland. While Barisic isn't exactly a household name, he's putting together a hell of a season. In 27 appearances (all comps), Barisic has scored two goals and provided an impressive 13 assists.
Transfermarkt puts him at €1.75 million, which is no problem for Roma, but his signing would pull a few things into question. First and foremost, what's going on with Spinazzola? He was supposed to provide added depth this season, if not outright replacing one of Florenzi or Kolarov at some point, yet he's played only 544 league minutes. Barisic is in the prime of his career, so this wouldn't simply be a Jonathan Silva style depth move—if this comes to fruition then perhaps Spinazzola is more hurt than the club has been leading on?
Second, and not really of much consequence, if Barisic comes in, does Santon leave? He had a few Spanish clubs interested in signing him over the summer and presumably he'd like to play more often, so a Barisic signing could precipitate a Santon departure.
Barisic's agent confirmed that Roma are interest in his client, but for now he'll remain one of several full-back names connected to a January move to the capital.