Roma's track record is spotty at best when it comes to signing veteran castoffs from megaclubs. For every Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Chris Smalling, players who found a second life in the Eternal City, the Giallorossi have gambled and lost on pieces like Thomas Vermaelen and Ashley Cole, players who were either too far past it, too injured, or simply too disinterested to really make their mark with Roma. Despite those mixed results, taking a flier on veteran players, particularly those with no transfer fee attached, remains a sound team-building strategy. Depending on their salary demands, this can be a viable low-cost, high-reward approach to fleshing out Roma's roster.
And, according to reports out of Italy, Tiago Pinto may replace the likely to depart Mkhitaryan with another esteemed veteran: former Real Madrid midfielder Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez, better known by the mononym Isco. A 30-year-old midfielder-cum-forward, Isco's nine-year run in the Spanish capital recently ended, as the newly-minted La Liga champs are letting the veteran midfielder test the free-agent market once his contract officially expires on June 30th.
Earlier this week, SportItalia took this story a step further, suggesting that Isco's representatives have already contacted Pinto, reportedly offering his services to the Giallorossi. While he wasn’t the most famous member of Madrid's twenty-teens Galactico squads, Isco still racked up nearly 250 appearances for Real, winning a slew of team honors along the way. A complementary piece for most of his time with the club, Isco slipped down the pecking order in recent seasons, garnering only 25 league starts over the past three years.
Nevertheless, there is a lot of class in his right foot and his passing, vision, and playmaking could help Roma paper over the potential loss of Mkhitaryan, who seems destined to sign with Inter Milan in the coming days and weeks. Make no mistake, Isco won't be Roma's savior, but his championship pedigree would be a welcomed presence for a club looking to return to the Champions League.
So, what do we think: Would Isco be a solid addition for Mourinho's project?