Luis Muriel, Atalanta's 31-year-old Colombian striker, is like the La-Z-Boy recliner of Serie A: overlooked and often forgotten, but still a viable (and comfortable) addition to any living room. Now, he's not the centerpiece of any design, but if you're looking for an old reliable chair to unwind in after a long day at the atom mill, you could do a lot worse.
Outside of a brief dalliance in La Liga, Muriel has been a Serie A mainstay, scoring 94 goals in parts of 12 seasons for clubs as varied as Lecce, Fiorentina, and Udinese, among others. And in what has now become an annual rite of passage, Muriel has been linked with a move to Roma.
According to Italian Journalist Alfredo Pedulla, José Mourinho remains an admirer of Atalanta's veteran striker. While Muriel has fallen by the wayside this season (only one league goal in 560 minutes), he scored 31 goals and chipped in 15 assists in 53 Serie A appearances over the previous two seasons.
While Pedulla doesn't dive too deep into the particulars of this deal, his reasoning is solid. With Nicolo Zaniolo's immediate future up in the air and with Eldor Shomurodov set to join Spezia on loan, Mourinho will need another forward to add to a rotation that includes Tammy Abraham, Ola Solbakken and Stephan El Shaarawy, among others.
The Luis Muriel who scored 40 goals between 2019 and 2021 isn't likely to reappear, but in limited duty last season, he still managed 0.53 goals per 90 minutes. And for a club short on goals, time, and finances, he could be an ideal low-cost, low-maintenance addition.