It’s a well-known fact among the Giallorossi faithful that Roma has had a dead weight problem for... quite some time. Much of it can be traced back to the disastrous reigns of Monchi and Gianluca Petrachi as Director of Sport; signings like Amadou Diawara may have been initially intriguing additions, but when they flopped in Rome, it became incredibly difficult for Roma to get off their salaries.
To be clear, I have no issue with players refusing to take a pay cut, even if it is the only way for them to continue seeing the pitch. Imagine if you signed a legally-binding contract with a firm, only for them to regret it for one reason or another; is it on you to lower your salary or find a new situation where your work will be more necessary? No, your employer decided to sign a contract with you, and they need to be held to it.
Still, from the perspective of Romanisti, it’s been frustrating to see players like Diawara, former youth players like Ante Corić, Alessio Riccardi, and more, take up space in Roma’s checkbook and financially hamstring the squad. The Andrea Belotti signing was reportedly held up in part because of some of these players taking up space on the payroll, and for a club with ever-growing ambitions, it must be frustrating for all involved that certain players just won’t leave.
From Rome, with Love. Welcome Amadou Diawara. ⚪ https://t.co/LwaJfvyaXc— RSC Anderlecht (@rscanderlecht) August 31, 2022
The good news is that Tiago Pinto has been hard at work while we’ve all been kvetching about cutting deadweight; practically every piece of deadweight left to him by the Monchi and Petrachi administrations is either on the way out or permanently gone. Some albatrosses like Federico Fazio, Javier Pastore, and Bruno Peres were fortunately moved on from in the 21/22 mercatos.
Still, the past few days have seen a flurry of departures from the club and a couple more that look all but set to leave Trigoria soon:
---->— FC Basel 1893 (@FC_Basel_en) August 31, 2022
✍️ FC Basel can today announce the signing of 20-year-old Italian left-back Riccardo Calafiori from @ASRomaEN.
He joins us on a three-year deal until 2025. There is an option to extend for a further year.#SaliRiccardo pic.twitter.com/bg5KW7NQkw
Reports from Italian transfer guru Gianluca Di Marzio recently confirmed that the trio of Justin Kluivert, Amadou Diawara, and Riccardo Calafiori will be leaving Roma permanently in the coming days; unfortunately, the Kluivert transfer to Fulham has been scuppered due to issues concerning his work visa, but recent news suggests Kluivert may still find a way out of Rome via a transfer to Espanyol. Similarly, the rumor mill is saying that transfers out for Ante Corić and Alessio Riccardi are in the works, ridding the Giallorossi of two youth players who were handed renewals only to turn into nothing of significance for the first team squad.
When combined with the recent sale of Felix Afena-Gyan to Cremonese, you just have to sit back and applaud Tiago Pinto’s work this summer. The signings that the Giallorossi have made with a limited budget are impressive enough, which José Mourinho acknowledged this summer’s moves after Roma’s win over Monza, saying:
“The director and the club have made an extraordinary transfer window by bringing players of the highest level with an investment of only €7 million. So as we approach the final day of the window, I don’t have the courage to ask of them another defender. They know we need it, but they also pay me to find solutions.”
Roma has certainly developed increased financial muscle since The Friedkin Group purchased the club in 2020; the signings of José Mourinho and Paulo Dybala alone would have been unimaginable during the Pallotta Era. Still, even the Friedkin incarnation of the Giallorossi is simply not on the financial level of clubs like Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. They need to spend their money wisely, not wildly, if they aim to continue growing as a club and win further competitions beyond the Europa Conference League.
Tiago Pinto’s moves to find new homes for players like Kluivert, Diawara, Calafiori, Riccardi, and Corić are just as vital as the flashiest of his transfers in; they set Roma up for long-term success so that one day when a Giallorossi squad needs another center-back, it gets one with little fuss; they set Roma up so that one day, Roma might just enter the higher echelon of superclub that Romanisti so richly deserves to support.