While yesterday was a rather celebratory day, marked by Edin Dzeko’s selection as WhoScored’s player of the month for September, today’s quick hit of news has a more dour tone, potentially. As we discussed earlier this fall, part of what makes following Roma so special is the history of local boys eschewing greater glory to stay with their hometown club. This may not have been that big a deal seventy years ago or so, but in the 21st century, the likes of Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi and Alessandro Florenzi turning their noses up at more powerful club sends an important message to the fans; the club matters.
Next in that line of legends is Lorenzo Pellegrini. His Roma career is only a few weeks old, but you can already tell the kid is something special. While it remains to be seen if he can resist the beck and calls from abroad, his mettle is apparently going to be tested, and tested soon, like, this summer.
By now you’ve no doubt read that Manchester United sent a cadre of scouts to watch Pellegrini in Roma’s last match against AC Milan. In and of itself, this means nothing. Teams send scouts everywhere, it’s part of the business. If you’re not scouring the globe for talent, you’re doing yourself a disservice. But the simple fact that it garnered headlines, coupled with all that he means to Roma fans and Romans, your Roma stress train was probably going off the rails today.
Again, I’d preach caution; this is simply United doing their due diligence. Pellegrini’s reputation is on the rise, so it’s only natural United would kick the tires on him, as I’m sure they’re doing on dozens of young midfielders the world over. No, the real rock in your shoe is the reported €25 million buyout clause attached to Pellegrini’s contract.
I mean, fucking hell. You’re telling me Roma values Pellegrini, a 21-year-old kid already capped by Italy at only €25 million!? In essence, he’s a fraction of a percent more valuable than Gregoire Defrel. If you’ll permit a Bidenism...that’s malarkey.
Whether it was Walter Sabatini or Monchi at the helm, we really can’t have too many qualms about Roma’s purchases; by and large they get targets at or near their fair market value, your Ibarbos and Doumbias not withstanding, but when it comes to sales...oof, it’s a bit uglier.
After a summer in which they massively undersold on Mohammed Salah by some ten to fifteen million, could Roma fans really stomach another red tag sale, and on one of their own no less?
And yes, it’s not as cut and dry as that—the ballet between players, agents and clubs is a delicate dance in which transfer prices, wages and buyout clauses all rise and fall in relation to one another—but, come on, who in their right mind agreed to that? Pellegrini at €25 million is a steal nowadays.
This is all conjecture at this point, so in the meantime we just have to hope that Pellegrini’s love for the club and city is as strong as his predecessors, and that the club takes care of Pellegrini in kind, otherwise don’t frame that #7 shirt just yet.