With Roma always on the hunt for a bargain, last month we ran through some potential free agents the club might consider during the free-transfer signing period. While you’re not likely to find a true impact player through that route, names like Gabriel Paletta and Jérémy Toulalan were at least intriguing depth options. Ultimately Roma did not take our advice, but that won’t stop them from tapping this market come June.
One tall, interesting, and follicly-gifted name floating around the ether is Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini. The 30-year-old Belgian midfielder is set to hit the Bosman market this summer, ending his five year stay at the Theatre of Dreams, which was (obvious pun alert) more like a nightmare. While Fellaini made over 100 appearances for United, he was seldom more than a warm body for the Red Devils various post-Sir Alex managers, peaking in 2014-2015 when he scored six league goals in 27 appearances.
Fellaini reportedly already has offers, or at least strong interest from Galatasaray and Besiktas but seems to prefer Roma, one would assume because of the relative strength of the respective leagues and the presence of his countryman Radja Nainggolan.
Fellaini will turn 31-years-old next fall, so he is by no means an up and comer, but would seem to have a few seasons of top flight European football left in his legs, but how exactly would he fit in with Roma?
The absolute ceiling of this move would be A) giving Radja a buddy, and B) an extra body to hopefully help Roma survive multiple competitions during the fall and late winter. He certainly wouldn’t displace any of Roma’s top four midfielders, though we can assume if he is signed (based on pure bodies) that Kevin Strootman might be moving on. Then there are the matters of what his presence would mean for the future of Gerson—to whom would EDF or Roma’s next manager turn in a pinch, a veteran midfielder tested at the domestic and club level, or a kid who, though immensely talented, has yet to string it all together?
So, sure, sign Fellaini as a depth move, but if we’re relying on this guy for anything significant next year, we’re in deep doo doo.