Due to my devotion to CdT, I often end up with what I'd call Roma blinders—a natural inclination to view and absorb all football news through Roma lenses. This isn't an intentional choice but rather a natural byproduct of focusing so intently one club; a club that I happen to love. The drawback to Roma blinders is simply this: I have no idea if the decisions Roma makes and the crises she endures are uniquely Roman or not. Case in point, last summer's Malcom fiasco.
To refresh your memory, Roma had a deal signed, sealed and, well...not delivered. Malcom, then a 21-year-old winger with Bordeaux, was one of the hottest U23 prospects on the market last summer and had every mega-club chasing his signature, but it was little old Roma that landed the next Brazilian wunderkind, and all for a cool €40 million.
While Malcom wasn't the pied piper we were promised by Walter Sabatini years ago, he still brought a sizable portion of fans to Fiumincino. What those poor souls awaiting his arrival didn't realize was that Malcom and his agents made a cloak and dagger deal with Barcelona, leaving Roma holding the bag and Monchi desperately trying to conjure up an explanation for what just happened, resulting in the infamous “it is easy to explain but hard to understand.”
No big deal, right? I'm sure these things happen to Arsenal or Bayern or Monaco every summer, right?
In the end, Malcom followed the trail of money to Camp Nou and hit the ground running. Wait, no, that's not right. Buried behind a litany of stars, Malcom managed a meager 608 minutes of La Liga action, scoring one goal and dishing out two assists. Malcom certainly showed glimpses of his potential, even logging 60 minutes against Roma in an incredibly awkward ICC match, but his debut season with Barcelona was a tremendous disappointment.
All of which has led us to a somewhat surprising twist. With Barcelona looking to raise some funds, they're reportedly shopping the likes of Coutinho, Rafinha and, you guessed it, Malcom, who some outlets report has already actually been offered to Roma, to the point where they may even float some of his salary on a proposed loan + option to buy deal.
Now, were Monchi still in charge, Roma would have to swallow a bit of pride on this one, but according to the sources of this rumor, Gianluca Petrachi, the man charged with filling Monchi's not so large shoes, has already been in contact with Malcom's agent over this rumored move.
If you can set aside his 11th hour jilting of Roma last summer, this move makes as much sense as it did last year, perhaps even more: Malcom still has loads of potential and now that Roma are short one winger (SES), the path for playing might be clearer than it was last summer. Furthermore, now that Malcom has been humbled somewhat by his lost season in Spain, he should be eager to reclaim some of his bygone fame.
As with all transactions with mega-clubs, it depends almost entirely on salary: if Barca can contribute a chunk of his wages for the duration of the loan, then Malcom's talent could make this awkward reconciliation worth waiting at the altar once more.