Not only is July 1st a celebratory day for our Canadian readers, it marks the official beginning of the summer transfer season, the date on which all these long rumored deals can be made official. We've spent much of the past several weeks discussing the outgoing, FFP-induced deals, the ones that had to be registered by June 30th to keep Roma in line with those oh so vague regulations, but now that the calendar has flipped to its seventh month, we can focus on the incoming transfers.
First up, Amadou Diawara, Roma's newest midfielder, and one they nearly had three years ago. On that point, this marks one of the strangest transfers I've ever seen. It's not ever day Roma tracks a young player, loses him to a superior rival, and then somehow gets the player a few years later, without any noticeable depreciation in talent.
This isn't some Juan Iturbe or Patrik Schick scenario in which Roma are pouncing on a failed medical or a sudden change in managers to acquire a top talent; Diawara is as good now as he was when he was the darling of the transfer market in the summer of 2016 when Napoli beat everyone to the punch, grabbing the Guinean for a cool €14.5 million.
Given the jump in class from Bologna to Napoli, Diawara's minutes fell off precipitously but he remains a pretty well-renowned prospect in calcio circles. And thanks to Daniele De Rossi's “retirement” Roma had a sudden opening for a defensive midfielder, so when Napoli’s interest in Kostas Manolas became concrete, Gianluca Petrachi wasted no time in doubling their dealings with Napoli.
While part one of that double deal, Manolas to Napoli, was made official yesterday, the Diawara portion, which will cost Roma €21 million, was just concluded. On his newest midfielder, Roma CEO and possible Baldini co-conspirator Guido Fienga spoke on their long-standing interest in Diawara:
We have been following Amadou for a while now...He is a player whose talent has been clear to those in Italy for a number of years. We are pleased to welcome him to Roma, with the confidence that he can become an important player for the club.
Sadly, since Diawara is currently competing in the Round of 16 with Guinea at the Africa Cup of Nations, the awkward scarf photo will have to wait. Nevertheless, this is a signing to get excited about; if Diawara can live up to his enormous potential, Roma's midfield may soon become the envy of the league.