For most of the winter transfer season, we've focused on Roma's potential incoming transfers. With the club in the throes of a six-club fight for Italy's final European places and in need of a few very specific pieces, it made sense to focus our efforts on Roma's potential additions rather than who might be leaving the capital. We got a jump on that last week when Roma finally arranged a short-term loan for Arsenal utility man Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who made his debut last weekend in Roma's ill-fated loss to Juventus, but now it's time we shift our focus to the outgoing portion of Tiago Pinto's importing/exporting business.
Much has been made of José Mourinho's squad selections during his first six months as Roma's manager, and while some players have spent the entire season in an awkward limbo (playing one week and riding the pine for the next handful of matches), The Special One's doghouse has been the exclusive home to two of last season's surprise contributors: midfielder Gonzalo Villar and striker Borja Mayoral.
Villar, a relative unknown Roma plucked from Elche in the Spanish Segunda in the summer of 2019, quickly became a mainstay for Paulo Fonseca last season, making 47 appearances in all competitions. While the back of his Panini card wasn't exactly overflowing with stats, the mop-topped midfielder impressed Giallorossi fans with his poise and close control, proving his midfield mettle in Serie A at only 22-years-old.
Mayoral, meanwhile, arrived in the Eternal City in the summer of 2020 on a two-year loan from Real Madrid. While he played second fiddle to Edin Dzeko last season, the then 23-year-old made the most of his opportunities, bagging 17 goals in roughly 2,100 minutes in all competitions.
Neither player was exactly a global star in the making, but as young players learning the ropes in a new league, they more than held their own and seemed poised to increase their respective roles in 2021-2022. However, for reasons unknown, Mourinho simply never warmed up to either player, with the two young Spaniards combining for only 441 minutes this season.
Considering all that, today's news comes as little surprise. According to Sky Sport, Getafe, who are knee-deep in a relegation fight with Elche, Deportivo Alaves, and Cadiz, are poised to add Villar on a rumored six-month, dry loan, while Mayoral will essentially move to Getafe under the same terms in which Roma acquired him: a loan with an option to buy, believed to be in the neighborhood of €10 to €15 million.
Given how quickly Roma are trying to conduct their winter transfer business, we'll try not to read too much into the Vilar loan—they very well could have opted for the dry loan out of expediency, much like they did with Maitland-Niles—but the lack of buyout clause could suggest that Mourinho is willing to give him an extended look over the summer.
There is no such hope for Mayoral, who was set to return to Real Madrid after this season anyway. While Roma holds a €20 million option on his contract, after dropping over €60 million on Tammy Abraham and Eldor Shomurodov last summer, Mayoral's days in Rome were always numbered.
We'll pass along updates as they become available, but for Villar fans out there, keep the faith and hope that Mourinho gives the kid another shot this summer.