It's no stretch to say that as Paulo Dybala goes, so goes Roma. In 23 competitive matches this season, Dybala has scored 12 goals and provided six assists, but more importantly, Roma is 13-4-6 (W-D-L) when he suits up and 6-2-4 (W-D-L) when he doesn't. While those are relatively small sample sizes, we're all comfortable relying on the eye test, right?
Roma is just better when Dybala is on the pitch. Not only are they more dangerous, but they're also nearly unpredictable. Dybala's skillset is so vast, and his confidence so high that he can turn a match on its head from any conceivable position at any moment. Roma hasn't seen a player like that since Francesco Totti—but you already knew that.
There is just one small problem. He's not Francesco Totti (no one is), so he's not likely to be as patient with the Roma brass as Totti was throughout his illustrious career. Considering how important he is to the current Giallorossi project (and one could argue that he is the project), Roma GM Tiago Pinto is taking steps to secure Dybala's future in the capital.
According to reports from the Gazzetta dello Sport, Pinto and the rest of the Roma hierarchy are keen to extend Dybala's contract through 2025. With whispers that Dybala could leave i Lupi high and dry if they fail to qualify for the Champions League (a rumor that may also apply to José Mourinho), the Gazzetta reports that the club will activate a clause in Dybala's contract that increases his salary from €4.5 million to €6 million.
Not only that, the Milan-based paper claims that Roma will also remove a release clause from this new deal, effectively giving them greater control should that dark day come when Dybala decides to leave the club.
Like all contractual updates, we'd advise you to take these with a grain of salt; these stories tend to drag on for months. Nevertheless, if ever there were a contract worth tracking, indeed, it's Dybala's.
He may not be cut from the exact same cloth as Francesco Totti, but as far as this current incarnation of Roma is concerned, Dybala is no less important to their future success, on and off the pitch.