Quick, if I told you that you could purchase any player from PSG, who would it be? Would you opt for Marco Verratti's guiding hand in the midfield or Kylian Mbappe's world conquering presence in front of goal or maybe even take a stab at Angel Di Maria's blend of creativity and scoring? When your cupboards are as well stocked as the Parisians, you can't really go wrong.
While Roma will probably never be able to afford one of those top shelve items, at least not at the peak of their usefulness, they may be able to pluck a forgotten item or two from PSG's kitchen, items that one day might be the centerpiece of a master recipe. When you're a club as big as PSG, you'll never make full use of every single asset you purchase and/or develop, making their overlooked players potential gems for clubs like Roma.
And today, the Giallorossi rolled the dice on a PSG project, signing Ruben Providence.
The book on Providence, an 18-year-old right winger who hails from France, is extremely short. Indeed, when one Google's “Ruben Providence” it takes only 15 or so search results before you're redirected to the best Ruben sandwich in Providence, Rhode Island; which is apparently Francesca's On Pawtucket, though I can't vouch for that; I hate Rubens and have never set foot in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, as it's officially known.
Providence's CV, as it were, seems to consist solely of six appearances in last season's UEFA Youth League, in which he contributed two assists and scored one goal in 288 minutes of action.
Providence (#17 in yellow), seen here against Tottenham in an U17 tournament from 2018, seems like he's your prototypical touch and go winger, one who can drift in from out wide and be in the middle of the box after a couple quick give and goes, but you'll also notice he spends a fair bit of time driving the ball right through the middle, and showed off some impressive dribbling and hesitation moves to shake off Tottenham's left back multiple times. So, as far as wingers are concerned, he's showcased pretty much everything one desires from a wide player.
If you read the look back at our first U-23 countdown from 2014 this morning, you're no doubt aware that a prospect's career seldom lives up to the hype, and you'd also be right to question why PSG were so willing to let this kid leave, but if that clip was any indication, Providence may be a talent worth cultivating. And what better place to test that theory than in the waiting and nurturing arms of Alberto De Rossi and the Roma Primavera?
If Providence comes big, Roma may have stumbled into a new market inefficiency; profiting off PSG scraps.