There are few players at Roma as uncontested as Diego Perotti. The 31-year-old Argentine looks like a friendly chap, has no big ego, rarely complains in the (social) media and seems fun to hang out with. On top of that, he rarely is the target for Roma’s critics.
Pau Lopez? Expensive and that Lazio howler is still fresh in our memory. Not the new Alisson. Mirante? Decent but as old as a T-Rex. Jesus? Meh, he costs the club a lot and doesn’t contribute much. Kolarov? Great player but I won’t forget his Lazio past. Mancini and Cristante? Lacking consistentcy. Pastore? His last minutes in a Roma jersey were in 1996. Pellegrini? Not ready to be our next captain. Spinazzola? Injured AGAIN? Kalinic? What is he even doing in Rome? Dzeko? A very good striker but he disappears if he’s not enough involved. Should have sold him.
At Church almost every Roman player has his moment de gloire in the comment section, even born and bred Romans like Florenzi or a 35-year-old De Rossi couldn’t escape it. However, a certain Diego Perotti mostly escapes the daily carousel of snarls and growls, although he has been a victim too. It helps he’s one of the most discrete and likable players around, despite having a 20 inch tattoo on his neck and a creepy smile. Seriously, google ‘Diego Perotti 2016’ and check that smile.
Perotti earns around €3 million per season, which doesn’t exactly make him the cheapest guy on the team. Since he joined Roma, he only reached 40+ games in one season. That was in 2016-2017, not coincidentally one of AS Roma’s best campaign in years. 2018-2019 wasn’t a success for Diego (although he did score 5 goals) and due to the COVID-19 outbreak, his latest Serie A campaign will probably end with 14 or so appearances.
One of Roma’s finest penalty takers ever has a contract until 2021, so the time has come to ask ourselves: Must we part ways with Perotti or not? Will he honor his contract and leave for free next year or can we try to cash in? Soon to be 32, Perotti won’t have many suitors. Genoa looks interested in bringing him back but don’t expect a big fat cheque from the Grifoni.
So, do we sell one of the longest serving players on the team for a couple of bucks (and save some wages) or give him one extra year to go out with a bang?
You know, I was tinkering (Claudio Ranieri 2010 Edition) and I was this close to giving up on Diego Perotti. Kluivert, Ünder and Zaniolo are the shiny new toys while both Perez and Mikhi have had some great moments so far and can do a fine job on the wing. So why do we keep Diego and his fat paycheck?
But then Serie A was halted in a sudden way, due to the coronavirus. And it would mean a very brisk ending for Perotti at Roma. No single prize, no CL qualification for next year, no farewell in the Olimpico with flowers and one last standing ovation.
Suddenly, I already started to miss Diego. His smile, his tattoo, his dribbling, quick feet. Bren’s not wrong when he says Diego is one of the (if not the) most talented guys in Rome when he’s on form. But most of all, I miss his penalty kicks. Like a stone-cold serial killer. No one can score a penalty like Diego can. Just like Kolarov, Beckham or Juninho during free kicks, I will always remember Perotti for his famous penalties. Such calmness, such style, such grace.
I don’t want it to end like this. This is Perotti’s fifth season at Roma. One more and he’s reached his record from Sevilla (2008-2014). He can also catch Sevilla’s record for total appearances for one club. Then, in the summer of 2021 when he will turn 33, it’s the perfect moment to finish his career somewhere in Argentina with one final contract.
Yes, we have Zaniolo, Kluivert, Ünder and the others. But who says Cengiz won’t be sold by August? Will Carles Perez or Kluivert keep up their strong performances during 2020-2021? How will Zaniolo recover from his injury? And will Mikhi stay for one more year or will he return to Arsenal? Selling Perotti now only to search for another winger in January 2021 as a stop-gap solution isn’t smart, you must look ahead.
Perotti is adapted to Serie A and can be a very useful tool for Roma. True, he’ll be a bench player most of the times but have we ever heard Perotti complain about this before? He will always come in handy when Roma are down, there’s a penalty to be taken or we need to hold a lead.
Diego can also play on multiple positions, not only the wing but also as CAM or false 9 like in 2016. Not so long ago, we had the likes of Wilhelmsson, Pit, Bastos or Marquinho as options on the bench. Don’t tell me Perotti deserves the same treatment. Your team is only as good as the quality at your disposal on the bench. Diego can still help this team out.
I’m not ready to lose Diego just yet. I’d rather Petrachi focuses on the defense and especially the position of striker, instead of looking for a replacement for Diego. Corona has deprived Perotti of the exit he deserves. Now’s not the time for goodbyes, that comes later.
May 2021. Roma 0, Lazio 0, with a last-minute penalty, Perotti ready to step up and the crowd going wild. That is how it should end.
Should Roma keep Diego Perotti?
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