With this morning's shocking news—Justin Kluivert leaving for RB Leipzig on loan—Roma were suddenly in need of a new left-winger; preferably one with agility, athleticism, pace for days, a patented hairstyle and eyebrows that could only be described as “on fleek”. And all the better if that someone could handle the undeniable pressure of playing in Rome. Hmm, who could we possibly be describing here?
Well, if transfer specialist Gianluca Di Marzio is correct, we may soon welcome Stephan El Shaarawy back to the Italian capital:
El Shaarawy, you may recall, spent parts of four seasons with Roma between 2016 and 2019, scoring 40 goals and providing 19 assists in all competitions before making the switch to Shanghai Shenhua in the summer of 2019. To say his Chinese adventure hasn't gone according to plan would be an understatement. In parts of two seasons with Shanghai, El Shaarawy has played in only 16 matches, scoring once and providing two assists. And indeed, if you follow him on Instagram, it seems like he's spent more time in Italy than China over the past year and a half.
With Euro 2020 (now Euro 2021) looming on the horizon, El Shaarawy and his brother/agent Manuel have been secretly pushing for a move back to Roma for several weeks now to improve his chances of securing a place under Roberto Mancini's Italy setup. The problem, of course, was the presence of Ünder and Kluivert, both of whom are now out of the picture.
Per Di Marzio's reporting, El Shaarawy will move to Roma on a one-year loan through June of 2021, just in time for the European Championships. What happens after that is anyone's guess, but incredibly SES is somehow still just 27-years-old, so perhaps there is a permanent deal in the offering, provided he's willing to come down from his exorbitant Chinese Super League salary.
Either way, it looks like a fan favorite is coming back to the capital! Color me excited!