There’s no escaping it: the Roma career of Javier Pastore, and to a lesser extent Davide Santon and Nicolo Zaniolo, will be inexorably linked to Radja Nainggolan. If Radja lifts Inter Milan to greater heights while Pastore stumbles, then he’ll never live it down. If, however, Nainggolan starts to dovetail and Pastore proves to be the missing piece in Roma’s attack, then he could become a club legend in no short order.
So, you know, no pressure.
Nevertheless, the club officially unveiled all three of their new signings over the past 24 hours. Yesterday, we discussed the potential for a late career revival for Santon, while we’ll have a look at Zaniolo later day, but for now we’ll focus on El Flaco.
There he is, a little bit older, a little bit wiser, but he still looks like El Flaco of old: tall, slim and sensationally gifted with the ball at his feet. On his new signing, Monchi bestowed high praise, citing him as the most talented player he’s ever signed, and given how much Nainggolan meant to Roma fans, let’s hope he’s correct.
Pastore meanwhile spoke briefly about his return to Serie A:
I am very happy to be here at Roma. It is great to return to Italy, and to do it with such a great club. I hope to repay in full all the enthusiasm, support and affection that Roma fans have shown me already.
For their part, PSG bid a classy farewell to their former star:
I will never forget the strong bonds that tie Javier Pastore, our first major international signing, to all those who love our club.
Since his debut wearing our jersey, Javier’s superb technique and visionary passes enchanted the Parc des Princes, who have always reserved a special place in its heart for the most elegant of players. Javier will remain one of those players that shaped the identity of our team, our club, our project, both on a national and international level.
He will always hold a special place in Paris Saint-Germain family. On behalf of the entire Club, I wish Javier a most successful and fulfilling return to Italy.
Source: Football Italia
It’s easy to forget in this day and age when PSG plucks up players like grounds of coffee on a countertop, but Pastore was their first big money signing, so it was nice to see the club acknowledge his place in PSG history.
Pastore will wear #27 just as he did in Paris and arrives in Rome on a €24.7 million fee, signing a five year deal with his new club. If that figure looks odd, it’s because its several million more than was previously reported, but when weighed against the actual cash portion of the Nainggolan deal, it’s essentially awash, bringing us back to our original point: these two men will forever be compared against one another.
As with everything else he’s done this summer, Monchi is taking a major risk, pushing out a club icon in favor a guy looking for a career rebound. Pastore isn’t the same kid who went to Paris seven years ago, but if he fits EDF’s tactics as well as Monchi believes, Roma won’t miss a beat.