One day after sorting out the future of their most expensive disappointment ever, Patrik Schick, Roma are reportedly on the verge of sorting out the immediate future of one of their most injury-prone disappointments ever, Rick Karsdorp. After arriving in the capital in the summer of 2017 on a €16 million move, the then 22-year-old Dutch fullback struggled to remain on the pitch, to say nothing of adapting to a new league. And after three injury plagued seasons that amounted to only 15 appearances, it seems like Roma have found a new home for Karsdorp.
According to multiple sources, Karsdorp will move to Atalanta on a one-year loan with a €7 million obligation to buy that kicks in if...and I mean IF...Karsdorp appears in 60% of Atalanta's matches. Assuming that clause pertains to league matches, and assuming they're rounding up, Karsdorp would have to make 23 Serie A appearances before Gasperini's bunch are on the hook for the €7 million.
That may not seem like much, but consider Karsdorp's history for a moment.
- He came to Roma fresh off a meniscus injury that kept him out from April through September 2017
- He then missed five matches with muscle fatigue before returning on October 9, 2017
- He then made his Roma debut against Crotone on October 25, 2017
- After being diagnosed with an ACL tear the very next day, he was on the shelf until October 2018
- He would go on to make 11 appearances for Roma during 2018-2019 season
Even when loaned back to Feyenoord in the fall of 2019, Karsdorp couldn’t escape the injury bug, missing 11 matches with a groin injury between November 2019 and January 2020. So, while we're all probably scared that Gasperini will turn Karsdorp into the second coming of Dani Alves or Maicon in his prime, nothing in this kid's history suggests he'll meet the 60% appearance threshold to make this deal permanent.
Now, that might not necessarily preclude Gasperini from wanting to keep Karsdorp, but a player with his injury history doesn't miraculously turn into Hercules overnight. Still, this is Atalanta and Gasperini we're talking about—they make a living out of turning the mediocre into the magnificent.
Should we be scared or we should we laugh at the prospect of Karsdorp making nearly two dozen appearances?
I don't know, and that's perhaps the scariest part.