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Roma Could Look to Houssem Aouar for Midfield Help

No, he's not Davide Frattesi, but Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar could join Roma’s midfield this winter according to recent reports.

Olympique Lyonnais v OGC Nice - Ligue 1 Uber Eats Photo by Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

Davide Frattesi may be the Giallorossi's preferred midfield addition, and the 23-year-old Roman has never hidden his desire to return home, but simple economics may put the kibosh on this storybook reunion. With four goals in 15 league appearances already, Frattesi is certainly on the upswing and would tick a lot of boxes for José Mourinho and Roma, but with the capital club once again under the Financial Fair Play crosshairs, Tiago Pinto may have to tighten the club's pursestrings this winter.

While Roma may find some way to bring the €22 million-rated midfielder back home, fear of further FFP sanctions may steer Pinto and Roma to the free-agent market, where a familiar face awaits. Linked with the Giallorossi last summer, Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar is now six months closer to the close of his contract, meaning Roma can potentially land the 24-year-old French midfielder for a song.

It wasn't that long ago (March 2020) that Aouar was a transfer market darling, drawing €50 million + advances from the likes of Liverpool. While his star may have dimmed since then, Aouar has chipped in 14 goals and seven assists in his last 71 Ligue 1 appearances with Lyon, dating back to the 2020-2021 season.

A standard central midfielder who can occasionally venture forward, Aouar is a bit of an odd fit for an advanced player insofar as shot and goal creation aren't his strong suits. Ranking in the 90th percentile or higher versus other attacking midfielders/wingers in most major passing categories, Aouar influences the game with steady, progressive passing, pumping balls into the final third more than 98% of similarly profiled players. And with his penchant for pressing and disrupting deep in the final third, he cuts a similar figure to Radja Nainggolan under Luciano Spalletti, another awkwardly cast but influential attacking midfielder.

And according to the Corriere dello Sport, given that intriguing profile and low cost, Aouar could be an ideal addition for Roma, whose midfield is in dire need of inspiration, but they'll have to fend off the likes of AC Milan for the 24-year-old's signature.

Stay tuned. This rumor will resurface at some point over the next six weeks.