Love him or hate him, Rui Patricio's tenure between the sticks at the Stadio Olimpico is ending soon. Signed from Wolverhampton for €11.8 million in the summer of 2021, the veteran Portuguese keeper wasn't meant to make Roma fans forget about Alisson Becker, but after watching in horror as Pau Lopez, Daniel Fuzato, and Antonio Mirante each tried and failed to steady the position, Patricio's experience was a godsend.
While he hasn't been perfect, Patricio has kept a clean sheet in approximately 40% of his Serie A starts for the Giallorossi, including 40.6% this season, good for fourth in the league. Critics (like me) will point to his poor advanced metrics, namely his -5.4 PSxG +/-, which ranks 39th in the league, the second-worst mark.
Stats aside, Patricio, 35 years old, has only one year remaining on his deal, so whether its Mile Svilar (not likely) or any of the scores of keepers to whom Roma has been linked in recent months, the Giallorossi figure to have a new shot-stopper next season.
Previously, the Italian press has linked Roma with up-and-coming keepers like Empoli's Guglielmo Vicario (26), Cremonese's Marco Carnesecchi (21), and Lecce's Wladimirio Falcone (27). And according to Sportal, the Giallorossi are interested in Monza keeper Michele Di Gregorio.
Di Gregorio, 25, is a Milan-born keeper who has spent the past three seasons with Monza, helping the Lombardy-based club gain promotion to Serie A this season. The fact that Monza's leading scorer, Carlos Augusto, has a whopping six goals tells you everything you need to know about the Biancorossi's attack this season.
In 31 league starts, Di Gregorio has saved 71% of his shots while keeping nine clean sheets. Those stats won't necessarily bowl you over, but when you consider that Di Gregorio has faced the fourth-most on-target shots this season, they become more impressive. Furthermore, his +1.7 PSxG +/- is the seventh-best mark in the league, essentially meaning he's made more saves than an average keeper would in his shoes.
Now, you're likely asking what's Sportal, and isn't this a little coincidental since Roma is playing Monza this week?
I have no idea who they are; and yes, it all seems a tad coincidental. However, with Patricio's contract expiring next season and his play declining, Roma GM Tiago Pinto will need to cast a wide net for the club's next keeper, and Di Gregorio is as intriguing as any young Italian keeper linked with Roma.