There were plenty of questionable Monchi decisions that were made during his time in Rome, but the most questionable of them all was to leave Roma’s defense thinner than it has ever been in recent memory after a month full of opportunities in the winter mercato. Sure, there were rumors here and there of center-back reinforcements coming in, but nothing ever materialized. You can certainly pin the sacking of Eusebio Di Francesco and the resignation of Monchi on the defensive lapses that were the result of poor defensive transfer moves, and I would doubt that temporary Director of Football Frederic Massara wants to make the same mistakes as his former boss. Given that, it’s unsurprising that rumors are already swirling that Gianluca Mancini has a deal in principle with Roma to become a member of the Giallorossi this summer, with Il Giorno reporting that Atalanta is already searching for his replacement. It’s somewhat more surprising that Roma has also appeared to snap up a young Brazilian center-back on free transfer, a 19-year-old by the name of Matheus Guedes.
Corriere Dello Sport reports that Guedes (or Matheus? Or Matheus Guedes? It’s sometimes hard to tell with the Brazilian nicknaming customs) is all but guaranteed to sign for Roma as a free agent this summer, which is quite a coup if you take the €50 million release clause that Santos slapped on his last contract seriously. As is tradition with South American hot prospects, there’s not quite much to go by when it comes to highlights, but Brazilian sources have already taken to calling this kid the Next Thiago Silva, so take that for what you will.
Monchi or no Monchi, it appears that Roma intends to send Guedes off on loan to a smaller Serie A side for a season to allow him to acclimate to Italy (think Leandro Paredes at Chievo Verona). Given that, it’s not very likely that we’ll see Guedes in a Roma kit in the near future, but even still, it’s never a bad philosophy to sign promising prospects on free transfers.
Defenders tend to take quite a while to show their true colors at the senior level, but if this move goes well for Guedes, Roma will at the very least make a pretty profit off of the deal. Who knows, maybe he’ll even be the core of the new-look Roma defense with William Bianda and Luca Pellegrini by 2023. However, if you think that’s a certainty, I have a bridge to sell you in
Brooklyn Tor di Valle.