Roma are reportedly considering upgrading Gonzalo Villar’s contract after the Spanish midfielder has attracted transfer offers both on the home front and abroad. Several Italian papers, including Leggo (via RomaNews) and Gazzetta dello Sport, report that transfer offers for Villar from Fiorentina and French giants Lyon were immediately rebuffed by Roma this week, following a summer where Villar was sought after by Benevento for the 2020-2021 season.
There’s no doubt that the timing of these reports makes for very comfortable reading in the Villar camp; if it isn’t his agent behind the news from the very get-go. If you consider the fact that the midfield maestro only just recently proved he can start multiple games in the same week for Roma, and his scintillating form in those run of games, then all that was missing was proverbial transfer bids from other clubs to create the perfect storm. But can anyone really doubt that Villar hasn’t merited the salary bump that would come with a new contract?
The Spaniard has come a long way in such a short time since he was originally signed for €4 million (plus 1 million in bonuses) from Elche, a little under 12 months ago. Now Villar sits at the heart of Roma’s midfield (in a very literal sense if you go by the average position maps of Roma’s recent games) and can go 90 minutes stringing together the most passes in the entire side, while linking up all three of Roma’s lines of play, sometimes within the same sequence of moves.
All that without mentioning the technical quality of Villar’s game that immediately won over some Giallorossi fans from the very get-go, with his sublime close control, first touch, and apparent 360 vision meaning that he can shoulder the responsibility of receiving the ball even when outnumbered, or under tight pressure from markers.
So it’s no surprise that the Gazzetta (via ForzaRoma) claim that future Roma General Manager Tiago Pinto won’t stop at just upgrading Gonzalo Villar’s wage, but place Villar at the heart of his Roma project, molding Roma's future midfield around the Spaniard’s charismatic game. In the meantime, all Villar has to do is keep rounding himself out as a player, growing physically, and improving the defensive end of his game if he’s truly to reach that top echelon of players.
It may prove impossible to ward off one of European’s big clubs from signing Villar in the long-term, especially if Paulo Fonseca continues down this path of playing counter-attacking instead of controlling possession—a style of football that would ideally suit Villar’s game to a tee—but, until that day comes, let’s just hope Villar can continue to give Roma the edge in the march back up the Serie A table.