If we published weekly pieces about Roma's inability to develop, recruit and/or retain full backs, it still wouldn't address the problem sufficiently. We've poured over it many times over the past few years (here's a favorite from 2013), but for every Alessandro Florenzi, John Arne Riise and that one year from Maicon, there are piles of bodies rotting around Trigoria; the Lucas Dignes and Mario Ruis of the world, guys who seemed like solutions but ultimately provided more problems than answers.
With barely 200 minutes to his name in a Roma shirt, Rick Karsdorp seems more like another cautionary tale than transcendent talent. Thanks in part to injuries, which started before Monchi even doled out a potential €19 million for the Dutchman in the summer of 2017, Karsdorp has barely warranted mention around these parts.
On the surface, Karsdorp seemed like the ideal fit for Roma; he was tall, strong, fast, and capable of contributing on both ends of the pitch, he even had the requisite neck tattoos to fit in with the cool kids in the locker room. However, rather than exercising caution, Monchi threw nearly twenty million Feyenoord's way, setting their sales record in the process, for a kid who Roma already deemed needed surgery.
In and of itself, that's not that bad—meniscus injuries aren't death knells—but there's reckless, then there's Roma reckless. I don't know enough about kinesiology to assess whether or not that meniscus tear contributed to what came next, but this kind of shit couldn't happen to any other club, right?
After all of 82 minutes on the pitch, Karsdorp fall prey to the ACL monster hiding under all the beds in Trigoria, rupturing that ligament in literally his first appearance in a Roma shirt. And, quite frankly, he hasn't been heard from since.
Even by Roma standards, Karsdorp has had a run of bad luck, which continued into this season, where he missed nearly a month of action due to a groin injury. If that doesn't spell injury prone, I'm not sure what does. And again, my only real qualm about this was they knew he was damaged goods when they pursued him, yet threw a mint Feyenoord's way anyway.
But...Karsdorp is still just 23-years-old, and as such has ample time to relaunch his career, but with Feyenoord reportedly keen to reunite with their home grown talent, it might be time to question if Roma will ever see a return on their investment.
Rick #Karsdorp può lasciare la #Roma in prestito a gennaio: il #Feyenoord ha già sondato il terreno per riaverlo seppur a titolo temporaneo. Una delle tante operazioni finora flop targate Monchi #calciomercato— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) December 23, 2018
According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, Karsdorp may spend the spring back in the Eredivisie with Feyenoord, presumably to build up enough street cred for Roma to then sell him over the summer, or so the story goes according to Football Italia.
If that is indeed the case, this is yet another tremendous flop on the transfer market, and when taken with Patrik Schick's somewhat similar situation, could total as much as €61 million in sunken costs.
Nothing in football (or transfers) is that simple of course, but at the end of day, the bottom line is the bottom line, and Roma are not a club that can recover so easily from such a spending spree.