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Could Roma Replace Davide Santon with Elseid Hysaj?

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Roma may be shuffling through a couple right-backs right before the start of the season.

Juventus v AS Roma - Italian Serie A Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images

We’re in the midst of our pre-season article tsunami right now, but just because there’s less than a week until actual Serie A football doesn’t mean that Gianluca Petrachi has put the finishing touches on the senior squad. Gazzetta Dello Sport is now reporting that Roma and Napoli are attempting to come to a final agreement for the transfer of Albanian right-back Elseid Hysaj, with Mimmo Malfitano (man, what a great name) predicting a final fee of approximately €15 million. Simultaneously, it’s looking more and more likely that Davide Santon’s days at the Olimpico are numbered, with Alfredo Pedulla reporting that Spanish clubs Mallorca and Real Sociedad are both searching for a deal with the former Inter man.

It’s no secret that Roma’s weakest position heading into the 2019/2020 season is at right-back; I’ve written about it as recently as a week and a half ago. Sure, it’d be nice to sign another center-back before the first match-day, but as much as we love Alessandro Florenzi, having him, Santon, and Primavera star Devid Bouah protect the right flank seems risky for a club with top four aspirations. While I’d love to see Bouah force his name into consideration like Nicolo Zaniolo did last season, a Champions League-level squad from Italy is built from the back; throwing a teenager into the deep end with only Florenzi to assist seems cruel and unusual.

Even though some rumors are still suggesting that Roma may be looking to sign Davide Zappacosta, the clearest thing a Roma fan can take from all of this is that Gianluca Petrachi wants a new right-back. Bringing in a player like Hysaj while shipping out Santon and Rick Karsdorp would be an excellent close to Petrachi’s first transfer window at Roma. Sure, it might delay Bouah’s induction into the senior team, but that’s a small price to pay for an upgrade like Hysaj.