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Roma’s Loan Players: Mid-Season Update, Part II

It’s worth watching the Daniele Verde wondergoals alone.

Sao Paulo v Ceara - Brasileirao Series A 2018 Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images

There’s over 40 million euros worth of talent in this loan feature, so let’s take a look at the names that could grease the wheels of Roma’s 2019 summer - including star turns for Daniele Verde and Ezequiel Ponce.

Every name in this post - bar Gerson, Defrel and now Sadiq - is playing outside the peninsula this season.

RB - Bruno Peres (Sao Paulo)

Bruno Peres is as indecisive as ever of his career right now, according to Eurosport. The Brazilian-full-back-who’s-really-a-winger has been in and out of the Sao Paulo first team, and was convinced his future lay elsewhere once Sao Paulo were looking at signing Santos’ Victor Ferraz in the winter close season.

Peres took that as a sign that his time in Brazil was already done; he sought a premature termination of his 18-month loan at the club for a return to Torino. This comes after he rejected a move to Torino back in the summer, but Peres’ family are said to be homesick for Italy.

In any case, Sao Paulo’s bid to sign Ferraz was rejected and Bruno Peres has been convinced to see out the remaining year of his loan at the Brazilian Serie A side. Peres’ crowning moment for Sao Paulo - so far - was the goal he scored back in August to win all 3 points against Ceara.

Sao Paulo redeeming Bruno Peres at 7 million euros looks unlikely at this point, and next winter of 2019/20 looks like just being an exercise for Roma in breaking even on Peres.

LB and ST - Moustapha Seck and Edoardo Soleri (Almere City)

Almere City’s coach Michele Santoni used his personal connection with Federico Balzaretti and Roma scout Francesco Vallone to land Seck and Soleri on loan. He views Soleri as a work in progress, while he’s effusive over Seck as “one of the best left-backs around in Holland today.”

“Seck is a difference maker here,” Santoni said to Il Romanista (via Voce Giallo Rossa). “I knew of him since the days he was in Lazio Primavera and the problem was Italian football’s culture of tactics stunted him a little. Here he can run up and down the wing freely.”

On that note, Seck got a nice run of games at the start of the season where he racked up a couple of assists before missing the entire month of November. The full back is only just getting back into first team action off the bench at the turn of the year.

Soleri, meanwhile, has scored 5 goals in 12 appearances but has gone goalless in the last 7 Almere City games - rested on the bench for two games in that dry run. Santoni claims that Soleri has to adapt to Dutch football’s need for a more complete center forward, rather than just a poacher.

Soleri looks just as slow on his feet as he did on his Champions League debut with Roma years ago, but you can’t fault him for desire. He does whatever it takes to get on the end of goals in the 6 yard box - scoring a brace against Helmond Sport back in November. That’s sometimes more than you can say for the Moratas or Schicks of the world, even if their talent is on a different level to Soleri’s.

DM - Maxime Gonalons (Sevilla)

There’s nothing doing for Gonalons in Sevilla right now. His leg fracture kept him out of the side until November, then a broken foot in training sidelined Gonalons for another month-and-a-half so far.

It’s bad when the club releases sentimental music for your recovery.

His return to first team action is pencilled in for February, after which he’ll have three months to convince either Sevilla to sign him or Roma to see a life beyond De Rossi.

CM/RW - Gerson (Fiorentina)

It wasn’t a good look for Gerson when he was subbed off in the 3-3 draw at Sassuolo - the Viola threw a 2-goal lead away with Gerson on the pitch. Then Kevin Mirallas replaced the Brazilian, and the Belgian winger saved the day for Fiorentina deep into stoppage time. While Mirallas is looking like the second coming of Luis Oliveira at Fiorentina, Gerson isn’t living up to the renaissance of Socrates.

The Brazilian has struggled to do work as anything more than an enforcer on the right wing or middle of the pitch for Pioli’s side. Roma knew that Gerson being the second highest-paid player on Fiorentina’s wage bill guarantees the Brazilian playing time in Tuscany, but Pioli is reported to be less than impressed about the situation as it stands.

ACF Fiorentina v Parma FC - Serie A Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

The latest reports are that Roma may recall Gerson to fill in at midfield through De Rossi’s long injury layoff. Gerson’s father-turned-agent has let Roma’s radio waves know they are open to a return, while insisting Flamengo are keen to sign Gerson if all else fails in Italy.

The only area where Gerson has shown an appetite for calcio is growing into a midfield bruiser, so a return to bolster Roma’s midfield is an idea that almost makes sense... but not really.

RW - Daniele Verde (Real Valladolid)

Verde may be an impact player off the bench for Valladolid, but his left foot is merking Spanish football with what little time it gets on the pitch. We brought you highlights of his stunning free kick goal in the first loan report, and now Verde’s hit two wondergoals in the same cup game against Mallorca below.

If those goals weren’t enough, Verde scored another against Mallorca in the return leg to see Valladolid safely through to the next round 4-2 on aggregrate.

Unsurprisingly, Ronaldo’s club are reportedly more than happy to seal Verde’s permanent 2 million transfer by next summer. And with Roma still on the lookout for the mythical left-footed right winger, there’s irony here to go around.

FW - Ezequiel Ponce (AEK Athens)

Ajax v AEK Athens - UEFA Champions League Group E Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Ponce is hitting above a goal every two games in Greece so far, with this sumptuous left-foot volley to add to his collection of 2 assists and 7 goals in 13 appearances.

Ponce puts himself about nicely to fight for balls in Greece’s top league, and he’s fast - basically a poor man’s Sergio Aguero at 21 years old.

It should be enough to convince AEK in redeeming Ponce for 6 million euros next summer.

ST - Umar Sadiq (Rangers/Perugia)

Things did not work out for Sadiq at Rangers on any level, but we’re not the site to come down hard on anyone for falling out with Liverpool legends.

Sadiq was back in Rome this winter, and just completed his loan to Perugia for the second half of the season.

FW - Gregoire Defrel (Sampdoria)

Genoa CFC v UC Sampdoria - Serie A Photo by Paolo Rattini/Getty Images

Ever since Defrel’s wonderful individual goal against parent club Roma, the game time and goals have dried up for the French forward at Samp.

The closest thing Defrel received in terms of a full match, since that day in the capital, was 85 minutes in a 4-2 win at Empoli just before Christmas. Defrel used that match to rack up another assist.

His permanent move to Sampdoria (or elsewhere) is no small piece to shape Roma’s summer market before its even begun. With a potential 15 million euros coming from this move, Roma could use it as a makeweight in trying to get Joachim Andersen to come the other way from Samp.