From nearly the minute he walked through the doors at Trigoria, Diego Perotti's Roma career has always been a curious and frustrating affair. Purchased in the winter of 2016 along with Stephan El Shaarway, Perotti was seen as sort of a low cost gamble who was a bit of an awkward fit (as was SES) but thanks to Luciano Spalletti's deploying his glut of wingers simultaneously, Perotti found new life in the false nine role, scoring three goals and dishing out seven assists in the spring of 2016. Perotti would follow that up with another solid season in 2016-2017, scoring eight goals and contributing six assists in league play, logging 1,750 minutes along the way.
Since then, it's fair to say that Perotti's performance has generated more frustration than applause. From that high water minute mark, Perotti has dealt with a spate of injuries the past few seasons, shrinking his role to a new low last season, one in which he managed only 665 minutes in league play. Thanks to a variety of leg injuries, mostly ankle, calf and quads, Perotti has missed over 30 matches the past two seasons, a number that looks likely to increase with this morning's news.
Perotti was a late scratch from yesterday's matchday squad, pulling up with a hamstring injury late in the week, one that looks increasingly severe. According to multiple reports, Perotti's stay on the sideline could last up to two months, missing crucial matches against Lazio, Atalanta and AC Milan.
While Roma are reportedly looking at Shahktar Donetsk's Taison as a like for like replacement, Perotti's extended stay on the sideline could be a golden opportunity for Justin Kluivert, who missed large swaths of the preseason with his own maladies, but now has the chance to garner some serious minutes as Paulo Fonseca looks to make his imprint early in the season.
But back to Perotti for a minute. Roma's number eight has one year remaining on his contract (June 2021), but with intermittent rumors of a return to Spain or Argentina, one has to wonder how much longer Roma's patience will last. Perotti is a remarkably skilled player but couple his bouts of inconsistency with his mounting leg injuries and it's fair to speculate where his future lies.
In the meantime, we just have to wish him a speedy recovery because a time will come when Roma will need Diego Perotti out there.