The winter transfer market seldom matches the sizzle of its summer counterpart, where transfers are frequently flashier, more publicized, and, sometimes, more controversial. Rather than swinging for fences in January, football clubs typically focus on more practical needs like a third or fourth center-back, a backup striker, or depth at full-back.
Roma is certainly no exception to this rule. While the Giallorossi have made some relatively high-profile winter transfers, the capital club is often shopping for depth. With needs all over the pitch and the sword of FFP swinging over their heads, Roma's transfer options were limited this winter. As a result, Tiago Pinto chose to focus on two key areas: central defense and forward.
While Norwegian forward Ola Solbakken has had a few fleeting moments in the sun, Roma's other winter signing, Spanish defender Diego Llorente, was a standout performer in the club's recent 3-0 win over Sampdoria.
Making his second start in a Roma shirt, Llorente went the full 90 for Mourinho last weekend, completing 92% of his passes, firing three shots on goal, clearing five balls, and intercepting one pass. While it was a somewhat understated performance, Llorente impressed with his composure, aerial ability, and passing from the back.
And according to the Gazzetta dello Sport, Llorente, who may be in line for a much larger role down the stretch than anyone anticipated even a week ago, is keen to extend his stay in the Eternal City. The terms of his loan would see Llorente return to Leeds at the end of the season, but the Gazzetta believes Llorente will push for a permanent move, though Leeds' €18 million asking price may prove prohibitive for Roma.
Stay tuned. Diego Llorente was an unknown to most Roma fans several months ago, but if his performance against Sampdoria was any indication, he could be a useful piece of José Moruinho's puzzle.