My usual morning routine in the summer goes something like this: 1) wake up, 2) decide if I’m really committed to intermittent fasting that day, 3) at least have coffee, 4) check the rumor sites to see which seventeen players Roma are purchasing before the end of business that day. While Monchi has indeed had quite the hit rate this summer, purchasing nine players before the end of June, simple economics would dictate that, in order to counteract those sales, as well as making any additional...umm additions, he has to trim some of the fat from Roma’s roster.
So, although my natural instinct was to at least do brief write-ups on the budding Dries Mertens and Emil Forsberg rumors, as well as the persistent Domenico Berardi stories, I thought we’d look at the other side of the equation for a bit. Granted, if any of those names start to pick up traction, we’ll give them their due attention.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about a few names Monchi is most likely to kiss goodbye to both finance these purchases and to free up some space in the locker room. We’ll center the discussion on why Roma would want to sell and why the player might be open to leaving and who could potentially replace them. Sound good?
My instincts tell me to organize this like a countdown, running from the least likely to the most likely to be sold, but come one, we all know who is most likely to be sold...
Pack Your Bags
Roma Service Time: Two years
Market Value: €60 million
Possible Destinations: Real Madrid, Chelsea
Possible Replacements: Alphonse Areola, Keylor Navas
There isn’t much need to rehash this story, but in sum Alisson reports to love life in Rome and seems to enjoy each and everyone of his teammates, but he can’t seem to resist the allure of Real Madrid, to whom he’s been connected for several months now. However, with Real balking at Roma’s €70 million price tag, Alisson has seemingly talked himself into the London life, as he reportedly has an agreement with Chelsea. For Roma, it’s a chance to smash the world record for a keeper and to finance some of those lingering moves we’ve been hearing so much about—Ziyech, Kovacic etc.
At Least Get Your Bags Out of Storage
Stephan El Shaarawy and Diego Perotti
Roma Service Time: Two-and-a-half years each
Market Value: €20 million (El Shaarawy), €20 million (Perotti)
Possible Replacements: Hakim Ziyech, Domenico Berardi, Emil Forsberg, Dries Mertens
El Shaarawy and Perotti came to Rome together and they’ve had strikingly similar careers since then, so it’s only right that they might leave together. While they’re both fine players, both SES and Perotti are plagued by inconsistency, looking like top players one week and completely out of sorts the next. While all players have their ups and downs, wing players are extraordinarily important to EDF’s tactics, and one gets the sense he’s not too keen on either player as a week in week out starter. That’s not to say they don’t have a role on the team (you know I love me some SES), but a return to unquestioned starter status outside of Rome might be enough to persuade either of these wacky wingers.
Don’t Schedule Your Next Teeth Cleaning Just Yet
Roma Service Time: Five years
Market Value: €28 million
Possible Destinations: Marseille, Liverpool
Possible Replacements: Mateo Kovacic, Hakim Ziyech
No matter where his career may take him, it’s safe to say that Kevin Strootman will seldom have to pay for a meal in the City of Seven Hills. Through his stellar play, combative style and sheer determination to remain on the pitch, Strootman has earned his Roma stripes several times over. Still, with his injury history and the fact that he’s 28-years-old, if Roma were ever going to part with Strootman now is the time to do it. With over 2,000 minutes in each of the past two seasons, Strootman’s health (in the short term) is no longer in question, but there are now younger, more talented and viable talents available, so you can see why Roma might be interested in moving on, to say nothing of the simple logistics of their packed midfield. For Strootman, the motivation is less clear: he still has a huge role for Roma, but perhaps going to a club where he’s not the subject of transfer speculation might tempt him.
Huh? You’re Still Here?...Okay
Roma Service Time: One year
Market Value: €7.5 million
Possible Destinations: Cagliari, Lyon
Possible Replacements: N/A
Not so Mad Max’s first year in Roma was rather uneventful. Somehow he managed to log nearly 1,400 minutes in all competitions, but can you remember a single one of them? Gonalons was just sort of there, not surprising us but not really doing any damage, so if he were sold it would simply be to make room on the roster. That being said, Gonalons, as a pure defensive midfielder, does and will have a definitive role on a team full of creative and/or hybrid type midfielders. So for Max it’s simply a matter of what he wants: to be a starter on a smaller side, or a bit player in a more ambitious club?
Each of these five players have drastically different roles with Roma, yet for the reasons described above they’ve each been mentioned as possible make weights on Roma’s balance sheet. If Roma are seriously interested in bringing in more new faces, I would imagine at least two to three of these names might have to be sold. There may be others—Juan Jesus, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Kostas Manolas and even Edin Dzeko—but none that can be as easily and as quickly replaced as the five men outlined above.
With Italy’s transfer window closing earlier this year, the post World Cup period figures to be fast and furious for all 20 Serie A sides. Stay tuned, some of your favorite kits will soon be useless.