The inevitable has happened. SportMediaset reports that Roma and Inter Milan have reached a 13.5 million euro deal for Edin Dzeko’s transfer up north. This marks the end of what has undoubtedly been a sparkling run for the Bosnian legend in Rome, though the move does smack very much of the kind of Chivu and Mancini-ish deals of the past: Roma save money, Inter bolster their squad and a Roma star pursues his ambition to mark his Italy stay with a title elsewhere.
There’s common sense in this deal for Roma, given Dzeko is 33 years old. Add in his amortization costs (4.5 million per year) and wages (8.1 million euros gross per year) and this deal will save Roma a total of 26.1 million euros on the budget.
In a summer of cost-cutting measures for having finished outside of the top 4, you can understand why the club went in this direction. But perhaps the biggest reason for the change was the only player who costs more on Roma’s annual budget than the departing Dzeko: Patrick Schick.
This move now puts Schick at the forefront of Roma’s attack - one that is heavily rumoured to be trusted in the hands of Paulo Fonseca for next season - and therein lies the flipside. Selling a player of Dzeko’s quality for the reasons above is all well and good, but the wisdom of the move always boils down to how well you replace his quality.
No doubt a lot will be said on all sides about Dzeko. How to remember him? Was he one of the greatest? All of that. But before the insults and blatant dismissiveness of Dzeko gets underway, I’d remember that over the last few seasons - and, hell, probably in the annals of Roma’s entire club history - there has rarely been a single player that has contributed more to the club.
Aside from all his buildup play, it’s enough to say Dzeko leaves as the joint 7th-highest top scorer in Roma history alongside Abel Balbo. I’ll personally remember masterclass performances in the Champions League, in the kind of European seasons that the club hasn’t seen for decades.
Can Patrik Schick really replace all of that? Will he even be asked to? Or will the club sign an out-and-out striker who can work well with Schick supporting him from further back? The summer silly season begins.