This has been perhaps one of the most boring winter transfer windows I've ever experienced in my days covering Roma. While I wasn't expecting fireworks—Roma seldom does that during the winter shopping season—I thought perhaps they'd make two or three minor moves to round out the rough edges of the squad; maybe a spare center back here or a reserve defensive midfielder there—nothing huge, just enough to get them through the spring.
So, while I wouldn't say I was surprised by Roma's lack of action, with 48 hours to go before the transfer window slams shut, I thought they'd at least do more than get beaten to Wilmar Barrios by Zenit. And beaten may not even be the correct word since Roma apparently didn't even put a call in to Nicolas Burdisso, making Roma's loss Zenit's gain, as Barrios is reportedly set to swap Buenos Aires for St Petersburg on a €13 million move.
Although I love Boca, and by extension Barrios, one can easily argue that Roma have greater needs than defensive midfielder, so missing out on the Colombian may not be as world crushing as I made it seem last week. Still, Roma has to do something before the end of the month, right?
Well that something, as it turns out, may be Domagoj Vida, a key contributor to Croatia's run through last summer's World Cup. Vida, 29-years-old, plies his trade with Besiktas in the Turkish Super League, for whom he has played the past two seasons after arriving from Dynamo Kiev.
For the pleasure of signing Vida, Roma are currently trying to whittle Besiktas down from their rumored €10 million price point, though it is widely speculated that Monchi has talked them down to a more manageable €7.5 million. I can't pretend to be an expert on Vida but he did have a decent run in Russia 2018, scoring a goal and setting up another for Croatia; he also had the strangest penchant for seemingly always being on camera.
At his age, and at this price point, this is nothing more than a depth move, and quite frankly we probably won't see too much of Vida down the stretch, but there is a certain logic behind this signing. Vida has nearly a decade of experience in continental and international football, so he should be able to slide right in and contribute when called upon without requiring too much redirection from Di Francesco.
Five years from now we probably won't even remember he played for Roma, but if nothing else he should be solid when called upon.