With so much uncertainty in the world of football at the moment, it wouldn't be terribly shocking to see clubs take a more conservative route on the transfer market. Even with the Financial Fair Play rules relaxed for the 2020-2021 period, there is just so much uncertainty with respect to revenues, salaries and broadcast contracts, so it might make sense for clubs to tighten their purse strings this summer. This is especially true for a club like Roma, who are not only in the dark regarding the resumption of play this season, but have no idea who will even be signing their paychecks next season as the Dan Friedkin takeover remains in limbo.
With an uncertain future on the pitch and in the boardroom, Roma might have no other option than to run it back next season with roughly the same squad. During the current pandemic, we've already heard reports that Roma are attempting to extend Davide Zappacosta's loan with Chelsea, and while I'm sure they'd love to do the same with Chris Smalling, they are trying to renew the loan of their third Premiership loanee, Arsenal's Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Mkhitaryan has had an injury-marred debut season with Roma, missing 16 matches with a variety of muscle injuries, but when healthy he's been outstanding. In 17 appearances between Serie A and the Europa League, Mkhitaryan has scored six goals and provided four assists, all while averaging a 7.06 match rating per WhoScored. His six goals are second to only Edin Dzeko and equals his total from last season, though his six goals this season came in almost half as many minutes. Playing several positions this season, including in the midfield and out-wide, Mkhitaryan has provided Paulo Fonseca with the movement, creativity and killer instinct Fonseca Football® needs to be successful.
Despite his injury record, Arsenal reportedly won't let the 31-year-old go for less than €25 million, a price deemed excessive by Gianluca Petrachi. Accordingly, per Calciomercato, Roma are working with his agent Mino Raiola on an extension of his loan with Arsenal, keeping Mkhitaryan in Roma through June 30, 2021.
Mkhi has been fantastic when healthy, but his injury woes this season makes it two straight years in which he's missed at least 10 games due to leg and foot injuries. Would you be willing to risk €25 on that trend reversing, or might one of the free agents we discussed earlier this week be a better investment in Roma's attack?
Renewing his loan is certainly the lowest-risk move, but will Arsenal comply with Roma's request?