In the annals of Chiesa di Totti transfer history, few names have been mentioned more than Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez. Better known as Isco, the former Real Madrid midfielder has been connected to Roma numerous times over the past decade. If there were a Hall of Fame reserved exclusively for players linked with the Giallorossi, Isco would stand alongside luminaries like Nacho, Memphis Depay, and, for the real old heads, Lukas Podolski, Adrian Mutu, and even Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in the Almost a Roma Player wing.
Isco, a 30-year-old Spanish midfielder, was most recently connected with Roma last summer before he signed a free-agent deal with Sevilla. However, after four months with the Andalusian outfit, Isco asked for and was granted his unconditional release, putting a host of midfield-needy clubs on high alert, including our very own AS Roma.
According to numerous sources, including calciomercato.com this morning, Isco is particularly popular on the Italian peninsula, with Fiorentina, Juventus, and Milan each joining Roma in the hunt for Isco's services.
While Isco has seldom been an unquestioned, 90-minute-a-week starter, he is precisely the type of midfielder Roma needs right now: Savvy, careful on the ball, and comfortable in possession. Sure, he won't soon be mistaken for Luka Modric or Lionel Messi, but the man does one thing exceptionally well: he keeps the ball moving.
Isco won't make Roma's playmaking concerns disappear in one fell swoop, but as a productive and reliable link in the chain, he could mitigate the moments when Mourinho's midfield gets bogged down, seemingly unable to advance the ball with any purpose or sense of urgency. Think of it like this: If Paulo Dybala is the shiny hood ornament on Roma's luxury vehicle, Isco is the torque converter, the seldom thought-about fluid coupling that, in essence, keeps your car moving as it transfers power from the powertrain through the transmission.
And according to calciomercato, the biggest sticking point in any potential deal with Isco is his salary demands (surprise, surprise). At a cool one million euros, Isco's Sevilla salary was relatively tame, but hitting the free agent market in the middle of the season should allow Isco to leverage his talents into a more lucrative deal.
So, what do we think? Is the juice worth the squeeze?
Should Roma make a play for Isco?
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Wait, what's a torque converter again?