We've mentioned in these spaces many times before, but given Roma's always uncertain financial power, the fate of Roma's primavera prospects carry an inordinate amount of weight in their future plans. That's not to denigrate Roma's approach, it's simply reality, one that actually makes a lot of practical sense. When you can't plug every gap on the transfer market, it makes life a lot easier when you have home-grown, cost-controlled assets who can step in and contribute.
And while they don't have the same luxury of artificially deflating young players salaries like their colleagues in most American sports, Roma can at least stretch their proverbial dollar further when they have more youth players contributing to the first team. It's an approach Roma managed quite successfully in recent times with players like Daniele De Rossi, Alberto Aquilani, Alessandro Florenzi and, for a time, Alessio Romagnoli.
It's a logical approach, but considering the always unpredictable nature of young athletes, it's not always a reliable method. For every Florenzi or De Rossi, there is an Alessio Cerci or Stefano Okaka; guys who, for myriad reasons, couldn't live up to the hype, at least with Roma.
Of course, since this is Roma we're talking about, one of those myriad reasons is a litany of injuries. After all, Roma's deplorable medical record isn't confined solely to the senior team. Case in point, 21-year-old Nigerian right back, Abdullahi Nura.
Signed by Walter Sabatini in 2015 when he was playing for Spezia's U19 squad, Nura's €2.5 million price tag was indicative of his potential and Sabatini's faith in his ability to fulfill that promise. Nura would spend the better part of two season in the Primavera before going on loan to Perugia, where he made his Serie B debut during the 2017-2018 season.
To say Nura's development was interrupted would be an understatement. Starting in 2015, Nura was sidelined thanks to a heart condition, and when that finally appeared to subside, he tore his ACL in May of 2016 and wouldn't return to action until February of 2017.
While we treat Roma's spate of ACL injuries with a since of levity, Nura's career was sidelined by something far more serious; a heart condition, one which has now forced the 21-year-old into retirement.
According to the GdS, Nura is currently working with Roma to cancel the balance of his contract, which runs through 2020, while simultaneously planting the seeds of a coaching career, one that would reportedly start at the youth level.
No matter how you slice it, this is a sad end to a once promising career, but heart conditions are not something to be trifled with, so we can only hope Nura finds fulfillment in his new career.
In bocca al lupo, Nura!