We’ve said it several times over the past year or so, but it bears repeating: when Roma found Federico Fazio stumbling on the side of the road, beard unkempt, crumbs of cheetos on the edges of his mouth, his career was teetering on the brink of disaster. After bouncing between Sevilla and Tottenham for a couple of years, Fazio was struggling to find a home, to say nothing of his former home.
So when Roma signed the mammoth Argentine defender last August, it was met with a healthy dose of skepticism:
Fazio’s career started off promising enough with Sevilla, garnering over 100 La Liga appearances over parts of four seasons. However, both his appearances and quality of play have declined over the past few years, reaching its nadir this past season where he only made six appearances for Sevilla.
At this point, Fazio’s greatest gift may simply be his ability to breathe...By most measures, Fazio is simply this season’s Nicolas Spolli, but this signing is symptomatic of a much larger problem--the club’s shocking inability to construct a defense.
It didn’t take long for Fazio to make me eat those words, but even in our October piece praising his early returns, we remained a bit skeptical, thinking Fazio was merely holding down the fort while Roma’s other defenders were on the mend.
However, let’s give credit where credit is due, over the course of last season, Fazio transformed himself into one of the league’s best defenders, playing to his strengths and teaming with Kostas Manolas to guide Roma to a new point record.
Well, those accomplishments have not gone unnoticed:
On his new deal, Fazio was (obviously) quite pleased:
This was an easy decision for me to make...Ever since I arrived here I’ve got on really well with all my team-mates, the staff and everyone who works here at Roma.
I love the city and I’m really happy here. It’s great news that I’m going to be here until 2020.
With this new deal, Roma has, as Monchi claimed, locked down one of the pillars of the club. As we discussed last week when speculating on Roma rolling the dice on Vincent Kompany, Roma’s defense beyond 2018 remains up in the air, so it was a good move on their part to capture a bit of stability at the back.
Well earned, Federico.