It may seem as if Roma’s world is burning down right now, what with the suspension of Gianluca Petrachi, the continued stalling of the Friedkin deal, and COVID-19 taking a huge bite out of the Giallorossi’s (relative) financial security. That’s all certainly true; this is one of the most precarious moments for Roma since the start of the American ownership era, and how the next month plays out will be a strong indicator of whether or not Roma can actually play with the big boys of European football for the long term. However, even in the craziest of moments, transfer rumors continue to percolate; today’s rumor concerns Roma’s Olsen replacement, Pau Lopez.
Lopez has done a good job between the sticks in his inaugural season for the Giallorossi. He hasn’t wowed everyone across the continent in the way Alisson Becker did, but he arguably had the best feet and reflexes out of any starting goalie in Italy before the season was paused. Given that, and given Roma’s financial insecurity, the fact that several clubs are looking to coax the Spaniard away from Rome is unsurprising. Given Roma’s luck in 2020, I’m almost expecting Lopez to part ways with the Giallorossi during the next transfer window. Instead of ruminating on the perpetual revolving door Roma has with far too many positions, both on the field and in management, I’ll instead point out a few potential replacements for Pau.
Transfer Market Value: Approx. €10 million
Mattia Perin seems like a relic from the early 2010s at this point. There was a point in time when Perin and Domenico Berardi were seen as the future of the Italian national team; to put it politely, times have changed. Perin has only notched two appearances for the Azzurri on the senior level, and he hasn’t found too much success in club football either. A transfer to Juventus from Genoa went absolutely nowhere, largely due to injury troubles, and so Perin finds himself back on loan with the club that gave him his first chance, Il Grifone. That loan back to Genoa doesn’t include a purchase option, however, leaving the Italian in a bit. of a bind. Perin isn’t going to wrest the starting spot at Allianz Stadium away from Wojciech Szczęsny, any time soon, so a bevy of rumors have popped up about his next destination. Some of those rumors have mentioned the Giallorossi, so he’s on our list.
Even though Mattia Perin has now been forcibly transitioned from being the heir to Buffon to just another Italian goalkeeper, he’s been linked to Roma a number of times over the past few years, and in an ideal world, Perin could be a serviceable starting goalie for a side like Roma. The main thing that has hindered his career to date has been injuries; without his two ACL tears, it’s likely that it would be he, and not Gianluigi Donnarumma, who was starting at goalkeeper for the Azzurri. The ship has most likely sailed on that particular goal for Perin, but it’s definitely possible for him to find glory with Roma. The question is, should Roma roll the dice on another injury-prone player who nevertheless has talent?
Club: Atalanta B.C.
Transfer Value: €25 million
Pierluigi Gollini has been Atalanta’s starting goalkeeper since 2017, and in that time, Atalanta has reached new heights as a club. It only takes a quick glance at the Serie A standings (and the fact that Atalanta is playing the Champions League) to realize that Gian Piero Gasperini has been cooking with gas in Bergamo, and as a result, Gollini has become quite a hot commodity. Recent reports have said that in the event of a Pau Lopez sale, Gollini could be Roma’s #1 choice to replace the Spaniard, but Tottenham Hotspur are also reportedly interested in his services.
Bringing Gollini to Rome would require the Giallorossi achieving Champions League football. Why leave Atalanta to go to the Europa League in Rome? However, if the rumored €40 million price-tag for Pau Lopez is to be believed, signing a player like Gollini would result in the least amount of quality drop-off after losing the Spaniard, while saving the Giallorossi a pretty penny.
Transfer Value: We Already Have Him
We all know Roma is in a bit of a bind financially, so it makes sense to at least check in on the promising young goalkeeper we’ve had on the books for a while, right? The only problem with checking in on Fuzato is that he hasn’t really done too much since coming to Rome. He’s picked up a cap for the Brazilian national team, uh, somehow, and from what I can scour from the Internet, it seems that he’s been relatively impressive with the Primavera side.
Unless Roma’s finances get that bad, you have to believe there’d be a way for new Director of Sport Morgan De Sanctis to bring in a more experienced first-choice goalkeeper instead of just hoping that Fuzato can turn good. That means he certainly shouldn’t be the only real choice between the sticks if Pau Lopez leaves; it’d be better still if he could get a loan deal to a Serie A side in the immediate future. Tite and Fonseca seem to think the kid has promise, but I’m not comfortable throwing him into the fire of being Roma’s first-choice goalkeeper without at least a couple of safety nets.
So there you have it, at least three potential goalkeeping replacements for Pau Lopez if a big money move takes him away from the Stadio Olimpico. What do you think? Is there a goalie that you’d prefer to see with the #1 shirt that I haven’t listed here? Be sure to sound off in the comments!
If Lopez is sold, which one of these three keepers would be the best replacement?
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