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Mattia Perin Emerging as Possibility for Roma Next Season

Okay, but we want the Journey hair back.

Italy Training Session And Press Conference Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Antonio Mirante has been a one-man miracle show since taking over from Robin Olsen shortly after Claudio Ranieri took control of the Roma bench. While Mirante hasn't made anyone forget about Alisson Becker, he has kept a clean sheet in five of his eight starts since relieving Olsen of his duties in early April. Mirante has made some huge saves along the way, but by and large he's been what he's always been—a guy who can organize and communicate with the defense in front of him. Mirante is a solid pro full stop.

However, he's also creeping upon his 36th birthday and interim keepers, much like interim managers, sometimes struggle to conjure that same magic when given the gig full-time. I would be absolutely over the moon if Antonio Mirante is our number two keeper next year, but given the pace of the transfer rumors (Alessio Cragno and Bart Dragowski most notably) it sure seems like Roma will be in the market for a new number one keeper next season.

Cragno and Dragowski are the newest names on the block, the next it kids among the keeper set, leaping ahead of bygone names like Marco Sportiello and Simone Scuffet in the line of succession for the next great Serie A shot stopper

But it wasn't that long ago that Mattia Perin was the beginning, middle and end of the next great keeper discussion in Italy. Blessed with intuition, intelligence and reflexes for days, Perin was seen as the man most likely to take over for Gigi Buffon as Italy's top choice between the sticks.

Since making his debut with Genoa in 2012, Perin was a mainstay for the Grifoni, logging over 170 appearances by the end of the 2017-2018 season. However, thanks to multiple ACL injuries during the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 season, Perin’s career took a bit of a dip, not so much in appearances (he came back and made 37 starts in '18) but in reputation, passed in acclaim by the likes of Cragno, Dragowski, Lafont etc.

With his injury woes seemingly behind him, Perin went for the brass ring last summer, moving to Juventus on a €12 million transfer. Keen on unseating Wojciech Szczesny from Juve's perch, Perin accepted his new €2.3 salary with gusto only to spend the majority of the season watching from the bench, garnering only nine league starts.

With Woj only three years his senior and firmly established as the Old Lady's top choice, Perin's career is seemingly at a cross roads: Does he continue to live the high life as a well-paid back up keeper, or will he leave the nest and once again learn to fly.

While Perin himself hasn't spoken about his future plans, La Republicca (via Football Italia) reports that Perin has been offered to Roma; by whom, I have no idea, but the rumor does hold a certain amount of water.

As we mentioned at the beginning, Roma will very likely have an opening in goal next season, and if Perin remains in the €12 to €15 million range, he'd come in some ten million less than Cragno's rumored price. And after a year watching from the stands, Perin would presumably be keen on re-establishing himself as one of the top keepers in the league, and if that works out, then Roma could reap the rewards for many, many years to come.

That's not to say he's without risk, he has two ACL injuries on his resume after all, but it may be worth kicking the tires if Roma are scared off by pricier options.

Of course, all of this presumes Roma can find a taker for Robin Olsen, which is no small task.