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Official: Steven Nzonzi Joins Al-Rayyan

Yet another Tiago Pinto masterclass with this one.

AS Roma Press Conference Photo by Silvia Lore/NurPhoto via Getty Images

While we are all undoubtedly still in a period of mourning following Sunday’s deflating result against Lazio, a bit of good news did arrive today, in the form of Steven Nzonzi being officially confirmed as an Al-Rayyan player.

My fellow Romanisti, our long national nightmare is over. The former Sevilla man, who joined Roma in the summer of 2018, joins James Rodriguez and Laurent Blanc in Qatar, after three forgettable years in the Italian capital best defined by his loan spells with Galatasaray and Rennes.

I don’t think much needs to be said regarding Nzonzi’s time at the club—the less said the better with this one. Coming off the heels of a World Cup victory with France, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Nzonzi had the potential to become an important piece for the club, but it was never meant to be, with the Frenchman making only 30 appearances for the club across his three-year spell.

For Roma, this represents another masterclass by Tiago Pinto, who has almost entirely cleared out all of the deadwood acquired by Monchi in just his first full summer as Roma GM. In addition to freeing up the wage bill from Nzonzi’s enormous salary, that Pinto was able to find a club for the Frenchman with only a handful of markets still open, speaks to Pinto’s ability as a GM, as well as his determination to find solutions for the redundancies in the squad. Say what you will about the current makeup of the squad, but Pinto offloading both Javier Pastore and Nzonzi in the same window is excellent work.

With both salaries finally off Roma’s books, you hope that this will enable the club to bring in some reinforcements in the winter window, namely a defensive midfielder and a right-back. Pinto will surely continue to look into offloading Federico Fazio and Davide Santon, two more players that have overstayed their welcome at the club, but you have to absolutely tip your hat to Pinto for the work he’s done thus far.