Happy Birthday, Justin Kluivert! I'm not sure 21-years-old is as big a deal for Europeans as it is for Americans, but hopefully you found a moment to toast another year on earth with your favorite drink of choice. We don't have an actual gift for you—after all, what does one get a young millionaire anyway—but here's a flimsy transfer rumor to get your b-day started off on the right foot!
According to a report passed along by Football Italia, Roma may be working their Mino Raiola connections to bring Everton striker Moise Kean to the Italian capital. The cost, however, may require the sacrifice of the newly minted 21-year-old Kluivert:
After searching the Gazzetta Twitter timeline and a “Kluivert” search on their home page, the most recent Kluivert piece (embedded above) starts by marveling at Kluivert’s prodigious YouTube interview streak (14 in two months), details his impending post-quarantine medical at Trigoria and concludes with a Mino Raiola-centric line of reasoning that pulls Moise Kean and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (both Raiola clients) into the mix.
The translated version is (as always) a bit jenky (though I did exceed my Duolingo Italian XP yesterday!!!) but nowhere in that piece does the Gazzetta draw a straight line between Kluivert leaving and Kean arriving, and it makes no mention of Cengiz Ünder leaving.
It does, however, speculate that Raiola, while sorting out the respective futures for Kean and Mkhitaryan, could probe the level of Premiership interest in Kluivert. The “logical” leap (and we only use quotation marks because transfer rumors are seldom logical) is to assume that since all three players (Kluivert, Mkhitaryan and Kean) are Raiola clients, that Roma and Raiola's shared interest could grease the wheels.
Since Roma has consideration in all three players (real or otherwise) Raiola could theoretically facilitate a trio of moves for the Giallorossi, sorting out Mkhitaryan's permanent move to Roma, while at the same time landing Kean in the capital and helping Roma offload Kluivert to England (or possibly Germany) to offset Kean's transfer price.
Ordinarily, I'd say a rumor with this many moving parts should be dismissed out of hand, but the fact that Raiola represents all three players could mean there is smoke to this fire. He certainly has a vested interest in maximizing the value of all three players, and the odds that Roma keep Kluivert and Ünder together in the long run are probably slim, but would this trio of moves actually make Roma better right now?
If, as the Football Italia piece asserts, Roma are willing to part with Kluivert and Ünder this summer in order to accommodate the cost of acquiring Kean, would that actually make Roma stronger?
Consider these scenarios:
Option A (doing nothing) would see Kluivert, Ünder and Carles Perez share minutes on the wing, while Edin Dzeko would remain the sole option at striker, though they'd likely bring in another veteran to replace Nikola Kalinic as the reserve number nine.
Option B (this trio of moves) would see Kean share minutes with Dzeko up top, Carles Perez starting on the right wing and an entirely new player starting on the left wing.
Your preference likely depends on how you perceive Moise Kean. Is he a dynamic, game changing forward or merely a slightly faster Mattia Destro? Is his ceiling higher than Ünder and/or Kluivert?
Roma will have to make some difficult decisions with their young talents very soon, and the lack of an up and coming striker may very well force their hand.
Keep an eye on this one.