Steven Nzonzi Initial 26.6 Million Euro Deal Completed
Steven Nzonzi took some time to wrap up but, once Seville flipped the green light, wasted no time getting on a private jet to fly into Ciampino. The French World Cup winner (hey, he played in the final - it counts) landed this afternoon, to the greeting of under a hundred fans in Rome before immediately jumping into an all-black tinted out Volvo estate and being sped off to Villa Stuart.
The Volvo looked like it was bulletproof, equipped with laser-sight autoguns to take out any bystanders looking like Barcelona directors. Nzonzi was also scarfless - speeding off to have his medical on the very same day.
By evening time, he was already pictured in Roma training kit walking about Trigoria. I guess with the ‘Io Ci Sono’ campaign more or less past its apex and over 22k season tickets sold, the scarves are no longer a priority.
The club then officially sealed the transfer with a statement confirming the deal for an initial 26.65 million euros with a further 4 million in potential bonuses.
Nzonzi will wear the shirt number 42.
“Steven is player that brings together physical force with technical quality,” Monchi said in the club’s official statement. “These are traits that do well to complement the players we already have. We have a very competitive midfield.”
“I feel happy and satisfied to be here and be a Roma player,” Nzonzi himself said to Roma TV this evening. “I always want to learn and to better myself. That’s the most important thing for a player. Age doesn’t matter as much as always giving the best of yourself. I hope to work hard and contribute, also in terms of my own experience.
Monchi brought me to Sevilla and helped me a lot during my time there. There’s respect there, and I’m happy to able to work with him again. The most important are the goals of the team; on a personal level I’m only focusing on bettering myself.
Every player wants to win trophies, which is never easy nor is it a given. We’ll do our best to achieve exactly that. I’d like to thank everyone for the welcome I got at the airport, I hope to become an important player for the team.”
Roma Third-Highest Spenders in Europe
Now I wasn’t in favour of Nzonzi’s signing, even if I can see the valid case made by many for bringing him in. So no complaints from me now that it’s done. But what surely cannot be in doubt is that Roma puts whatever money it gets from signings right back into the club. The money from Roma player sales cannot find the time to go into anyone’s pockets, because it’s busy being put right back into the playing staff. Believe me (as a Newcastle fan) when I say there are plenty of clubs where you CANNOT say the same.
The initial 26 million euros spent on Nzonzi now sends Roma up to third-highest spenders in Europe, and second-highest in Italy. The biggest spenders of this summer were Juventus at 216 million euros spent on transfers in. Then comes Liverpool in second with 182 million euros spent, and Roma in third with 140 million euros spent.
On the one hand, I get some people’s frustrations here. It isn’t just about spending, but how you spend and what that says about a club’s direction. We know that Juventus and Liverpool’s tally tips on signing star individuals that make up near half of their total spending - namely Cristiano Ronaldo and Alisson. Roma frustrates some by not sharing that philosophy, choosing a collective approach to the club’s present and future.
On the other hand, I see an on-running theme of new school vs old school here. Liverpool and Roma were two teams that were absolutely slated by the “old guard” commentators in last season’s Champions League. Pundits in favour of more conservative style football were vindicated in the final when Real Madrid used their superior ability in possession, game management and capitalising on opponent’s mistakes to win Europe’s prestige title the “proper” way.
Highly offensive teams like the Reds and Giallorossi were called naive. Their approach to continental competitions is still seen as a one-off in some eyes. And yet Liverpool and Roma have put their money where their footballing belief is, going all in despite skepticism of fans and pundits alike.
Remember Liverpool fans were largely against the signing of Alisson, until the psychology of big money spent had set in. Mood shifted once the (at the time) world record fee made Alisson the best keeper in the world in their eyes. Similarly, we will justify the 30 million spent on Nzonzi. Either way, these are two clubs backing their coaches through the rollercoaster times of Klopp and Di Francesco.
Gyomber Moves To Perugia
News for Slovakia fans as Norbert Gyomber has permanently transferred to Perugia. The Slovak international utility man was winning over fans at Bari last season, before the Pugliese club did what they always seem to do and shot themselves in the foot to bankruptcy and Serie D.
Gyomber continues at Serie B level with Perugia, though there is no report on how much Roma recouped in transfer fees here - if there was any transfer fee at all.
Will Roma Sign a Thirteenth Player?
Now the final days of the Italian transfer window will shift to the right wing. Will Roma spend yet more money on a thirteenth incoming transfer? Perhaps the most mystifying development is that Roma look closest to signing a winger who... isn’t a right-winger.
On Instagram, Juan Jesus was captioned telling Shakhtar’s Taison to come to Italy. To which Taison responded “I’m coming.” While we could easily dismiss this as banter, consider how much of a slap in the face to Shakhtar fans that would be if comment wasn’t serious.
I’d be disappointed if a Roma played tweeted out he’s coming to the Premier League as a casual joke (oh wait, Salah already tried to bait Roma players into doing that). But if it’s just a player telling the truth and breaking the story before anyone else, then it’s more digestible.
Lending further credibility to this story is Taison’s agent responding to it, when asked by Revista Colorada. The reply was: “An Italian manager came to us to get an idea of whether the conditions were there to open up talks. There’s the possibility of moving forward on this.”
Then Taison began following Roma’s Instagram account later this afternoon.
Maybe Taison still isn’t a left-footed right winger (even if not afraid to shoot with his left, above) but he was decent in the CL games against us last year and his experience as captain of a Champions League side boosts the maturity of the squad.
With an average squad age of 26 years old before this week’s developments, Nzonzi and Taison can bring Roma to parity with other top Serie A clubs on that front.
At 15 million euros - is Taison too good of a deal to turn down? Or is he really just a smokescreen for Roma to hurry up other transfer targets into making up their mind before the window deadline?