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Roma and Everton Working on Florenzi for Kean Loan Swap

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It's like two neighbors having simultaneous garage sales struggling to get rid of the last bit of junk.

FBL-ENG-PR-EVERTON-BOURNEMOUTH Photo by CATHERINE IVILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The Moise Kean to Roma rumor is the free stress ball of transfer rumors. You're at some bullshit work conference just biding the time until the free lunch arrives and then someone gives you the most generic piece of swag ever: the foam stress ball with corporate logos and some half-assed motivational phrase emblazoned on either side. You don't really want it yet you can't bring yourself to throw it away, thinking it'll come in handy at some point.

Then time passes—days, weeks, months and even years—and the stress ball just reappears. You didn't exactly put it away anywhere specific, but it just keeps popping up: when you're cleaning the living room, or maybe it rolls out from underneath your driver's seat at a stop light, maybe you find it in a drawer while desperately searching for AAA batteries, or perhaps your pug discovered it in some dark corner of the basement. No matter how much you care for or neglect it, it just keeps coming back. It has no real use but it’s like energy; you can neither create nor destroy it; it only transforms.

Moise Kean rumors are our collective stress balls, reappearing every few months to remind us that, yes, once a upon a time, it was an exciting gift that quickly became an afterthought. And according to the Corriere dello Sport, it's time to dust off that bacteria magnet once more...but this time with a slightly more interesting twist.

According to the CdS, Roma and Everton are discussing a loan swap that would see Alessandro Florenzi link up with Carlo Ancelotti at Everton while Kean would return to Italy to play for Roma.

While some had hoped Roma's switch to a three-man back-line would renew Florenzi's Roma career, the never ending links to other clubs have likely dampened your spirits. From Everton to Fiorentina to Atalanta and even an EDF reunion at Cagliari, if you believe the Italian press, Florenzi's days in Rome are likely done. Placing Florenzi in the kick-and-run league might be the best bet for his career at this point, and would spare us the sight of seeing him line up against Roma.

As far as the other half of the equation is concerned, bringing Kean to Roma wouldn't accomplish much more than lowering the average age of the squad. Coming from the Premiership, Kean's wages could potentially be an issue, at least relative to his role and production.

Hey, speaking of which!

In 29 Premiership appearances, Kean managed only two goals and two assists this past season. Of those 29 appearances, only six were starts and Kean averaged only 29 minutes per appearance, playing in only 24.9% of all possible minutes for Everton last season. Needless to say, Everton's investment in Kean hasn't paid off quite yet.

But...he's still only 20 years old and has proven, if nothing else, that he can score goals in bunches. And in this scenario—a year long loan swap for Florenzi, a player for whom Paulo Fonseca has no use—Roma would have much to gain and little to lose.

Despite only scoring two goals, there are some underlying stats that paint a slightly...slightly... prettier picture. Kean averaged more than three shots per 90 minutes, put 43% of those on target and actually played to 4.2 xG, higher than his “breakout” season with Juventus. He also averaged 2.85 shot-creating actions last season, more than double the figure he put up for the Old Lady in 2018-2019.

None of those numbers are spectacular, but when you consider how little this kid has actually played and that he had to adjust to a new league, language, and lifestyle at only 19-years-old, they're at least something to build on.

Then there's this...

Kean (Green) vs. Dzeko (Blue) over the past two seasons
Understat

Not bad, right? When I pulled this up I was expecting Dzeko's blob to dwarf Kean’s, but apart from xGBuildup90 and KP90, it's a lot closer than I expected. Granted, we're talking about nearly a 400% difference in minutes played over the past two seasons, but perhaps Kean isn't the luck-dependent poacher he seems to be? Or maybe he has the potential to become a more complete forward?

But those question marks are precisely the gamble Roma will have to take: could Paulo Fonseca take this young lump of clay and transform him from an opportunist into a genuine threat, a genuine creator and a more complete forward?

If this rumor holds weight, and is really as straight forward as it suggests, then what better way to find out then in a spare part for spare part one-year loan swap?

I wouldn't suggest to Fonseca or Guido Fienga that Moise Kean be there one and only striker next season, but if he can find a soft landing in the capital and resurrect his career, Roma could be well set up for the future.