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Are Roma Considering a Diawara for Torreira Swap?

Are Roma really prepared to move on from Diawara already?

Arsenal v Chelsea - FA Cup Final Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

The rest of the footballing world may be diving headlong into silly season, but for Roma we're apparently on the precipice of scambia season. With leagues around the world facing a somewhat uncertain financial future due to the economic impact of the pandemic, we're seeing more player swap rumors bandied about than in summers past. For Roma, much of that has focused on the proposed Cengiz Ünder for Arkadiusz Milik trade, but this morning brings news of a new swap deal, one that would see Roma find a new trading partner abroad.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Arsenal's interest in Amadou Diawara has prompted the two clubs to consider a Diawara for Lucas Torreira swap deal, one that would benefit both clubs on the capital gains side of the equation.

Diawara, you may recall, just arrived in Roma last summer in a quasi-swap deal in which Roma sold Kostas Manolas to Napoli and then purchased Diawara for €21 million. In his first season with Roma, Diawara had a solid albeit injury-filled season, making 28 appearances in all competitions while missing roughly two and a half months with a meniscus injury.

Despite that knee injury, Diawara finished the season with one goal and one assists while completing nearly 89% of his passes. In terms of fine tuned stats, Diawara averaged 4.97 tackles and interceptions per 90 minutes, 1.12 clearances per 90 minutes, 0.95 key passes per 90 minutes and 5.74 passes into the final third per 90 minutes.

In a word, Diawara was as advertised: a cool and calm presence in midfield, capable of recycling possession and alleviating pressure on the defense. And at only 23-years-old, Diawara has only scratched the surface of what he's capable of, so it makes sense that a club like Arsenal would be interested in signing him.

What is curious, however, is why Arsenal are so keen to move on from Torreira only two years after signing him. Torreira, 24-years-old, was the jewel of Serie A midfielders two seasons ago when he logged nearly 3,200 minutes for Sampdoria during the 2017-2018 season, scoring four goals and chipping in one assist in league play, prompting Arsenal to pay some €28 million for his signature.

Torreira had a decent debut season for the Gunners, scoring two goals and providing two assists in 34 league appearances but has seen his numbers drop nearly across the board this past season, where he logged only 1,500 league minutes—800 fewer than the prior season.

Torreria and Diawara offer similar skill sets, but Diawara is coming off a better statistical season, so unless Paulo Fonseca was secretly disappointed in the Guinean's performances this season (or simply prefers Gonzalo Villar in that role) then I'm not sure this swap makes a ton of sense.

If this deal comes to fruition, it will likely be propelled by the balance sheets, similar to the Leonardo Spinazzola for Luca Pellegrini swap the club pulled off last summer.


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