While they weren't here long, the three-year stretch that saw Wojciech Szczesny and Alisson Becker manning the sticks at the Stadio Olimpico produced some of the best goalkeeping Roma has ever seen. And while I'm sure the day will come when we're no longer yearning for their return, gone are the halcyon days when Roma didn't have to worry about such trivial matters as goalkeeper. From Robin Olsen to Antonio Mirante to Pau Lopez, the men tabbed to replace Szczesny and Alisson have come up woefully short.
Signed in the summer of 2021, Rui Patricio was never meant to make anyone forget about that inimitable duo, but the Portuguese veteran promised to bring stability to the position. And with nearly 100 appearances under his belt, Patricio has done just that. The problem, as you may have noticed lately, is that Patricio struggles with the most fundamental aspect of the job: shot-stopping.
Through 23 league appearances, Patricio ranks 19th in save percentage and 25th in PSxG +/- (a measure of how likely a keeper is to stop a given shot), echoing the warning we issued nearly three years ago. While Patricio has had his moments this season, he's become too volatile lately, leading the Corriere dello Sport to suggest that Roma manager Daniele De Rossi is considering starting 24-year-old Mile Svilar ahead of Patricio, possibly as soon as Thursday's Europa League fixture against Feyenoord.
With Patricio's contract set to expire at the end of the season, Roma is sure to have a different starting keeper next year. The only question that remains, then, is whether or not De Rossi is willing to stake the club's future (and likely his job) on Svilar's inexperienced shoulders for the next three months.