While we wait for José Mourinho's first official press conference as Roma's new manager (Thursday 1:30 PM local time) and for GM Tiago Pinto to put the finishing touches on the club's impending acquisitions of goalkeeper Rui Patricio and midfielder Granit Xhaka, the club is reportedly making moves behind the scenes to find a replacement for Leonardo Spinazzola. After rupturing the Achilles tendon in his left leg against Belgium in Italy's Euro 2020 Quarterfinal last week, Spinazzola underwent successful surgery yesterday in Finland and should be on the shelf for a minimum of six months.
We offered our own set of candidates to help Roma survive without Spinazzola, including a possible reunion with Emerson Palmieri, but Gianluca Di Marzio recently added a new name to the list:
According to Di Marzio, Roma has contacted Borussia Mönchengladbach in an effort to acquire Ramy Bensebaini; a 26-year-old Algerian left-back. Bensebaini, formerly of Montepellier and Rennes, has been with the Bundesliga club since 2019, compiling 12 goals and four assists in 59 appearances in all competitions.
12 goals in 59 appearances is an outstanding return for a left-back, but check out his defensive scouting report:
Bensebaini may not redefine the word playmaker, but look at those defensive numbers—he's been among the most effective defensive full-backs in Europe's top five leagues over the past year. In that light, he could be the ideal defensive complement to Rick Karsdorp's marauding runs into the final third while potentially adding a few goals of his own.
While Di Marzio sourced the rumor, he didn't speculate on a price or specific transfer formula, so this story remains in its infancy. Even so, with two offensive-minded full-backs in Karsdorp and Spinazzola, adding a player with Bensebaini's defensive acumen would be a sound move under any circumstance.
Left-back wasn't an expected area of need for Roma as little as a week ago, but with Spinazzola out for at least six months, it's suddenly become a top priority.