Wednesday June 28 2017
Roma a boutique supermarket

The customary Giallorossi overhaul has begun and Monchi fits perfectly into their selling philosophy, writes Nick Valerio, whether the fans like it or not.

Monchi said “Roma are not a supermarket,” but that’s not entirely accurate. What he meant to say was “Roma are not Poundland.” The wares are in the shop window alright, but with boutique prices that won’t be haggled down.

As Mohamed Salah embarks on a second stint in the Premier League with Liverpool, there will be mixed emotions in the capital. On one hand, the Egyptian was one of Roma’s best players, and had struck up a devastating partnership with hitman Edin Dzeko.

But the money offered was simply too good to refuse.

Salah’s €50m fee (including bonuses) is comfortably the Lupi’s biggest ever sale, making his former employers a profit of over €29m, which is mightily impressive considering the speedy winger was only a permanent acquisition from August 2016. This, in essence, is what the Giallorossi are about. The model involves buying for a modest sum, providing a platform to develop and ultimately sell for a handsome figure, all while being competitive.

New Sporting Director Monchi remained resolute and did not waver from his valuation of Salah. There was a clear figure from the offset, and ultimately Liverpool met the asking price, allowing both sides of the transfer to be happy.

The big-name departures won’t end there, with Salah expected to be followed out of the club by defender Kostas Manolas and midfielder Leandro Paredes, with the two men on the verge of a combined €60m move to Russian club Zenit St Petersburg.

On reflection, the reported fee is another bit of sound business by Roma, especially when you consider the performance level of Manolas in the previous campaign. Only 18 months ago the Greek international was in high demand, and his name was regularly linked to Europe’s elite clubs, but his form visibly plummeted from the turn of the year. Replacement Hector Moreno, a no-nonsense defender, cost a fraction of the price.

Team-mate Paredes also struggled in the 2016-17 season, showing flashes of brilliance, but never truly settling. While Salah’s application matched his talent, the same cannot be said of the Argentine and it’s yet another example of Roma getting the better of a prospective buyer for two players who essentially became expendable. Mario Rui and Bruno Peres could follow suit.

Other high-profile names who have moved on from the Stadio Olimpico include Miralem Pjanic, who joined champions Juventus, while Marquinhos and Erik Lamela secured switches in 2013 to PSG and Tottenham Hotspur respectively. With the proceeds, Roma signed the likes of Medhi Benatia, Radja Nainggolan and Kevin Strootman, and each arrival was an undisputed success.

This template is the norm. It’s what Roma do, and they will probably have to rebuild again next summer if the inevitable interest in Nainggolan and Dzeko resurfaces.

On paper, Monchi and his new club appear the perfect fit. Not only have last year’s second-best side succeeded in balancing the books, they have given the Spaniard every chance of building a new team, alongside the core group of Federico Fazio, Daniele De Rossi, Nainggolan and Dzeko, for this season at the very least.

Monchi is already evolving Roma. His blueprint is coming to the fore and, judging by the speculation, there is a very specific type of personnel the former goalkeeper is targeting. Names such as Rick Karsdorp, Juan Foyth and Lorenzo Pellegrini all have one fundamental thing in common: age. The emphasis is primarily on youth and emerging talents, players who can learn their trade knowing they will be given an opportunity. This is also why the appointment of Eusebio Di Francesco was no coincidence, as he has shown the courage to trust and nurture young players at Sassuolo.

The big difference, of course, is in the pressure and expectation that comes with wearing the Roma jersey. They may be regular runners-up or top three finishers, but that doesn’t change the undeniable fact this is a selling club with an excellent youth academy. In that sense, Monchi is the perfect fit. Whether the Giallorossi supporters accept that Sevilla-style mission statement is another matter.

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Have your say...
Roma wish players from Dutch league to lift the team, what a joke. Dutch league is terrible now,same as the national team. Everyone says salah is replaceable, pls tell me who. 40m+bonus is not bad price but u need find a replacement before releasing your most dangerous player. Roma made some bargains from epl but these players wont bring you the title. Now I really doubt Roma will be in the top 4. R Roma strong enough to take another season without ucl income? Who will they sell next season?
on the 2nd July, 2017 at 11:32am
Don't worry Romanisti, at least your team is making profit to keep afloat and have money aside to pay for your own stadium. Even if you sell there's no reason you cannot finish 6th place. as long as you don't end up like inter spending 120 million on players to finish 3 spots lower than last year finishing 7th with embarrassing losses to Haopel Beer-Sheva and Crotone you should be happy !
on the 30th June, 2017 at 1:40pm
The German clubs have succeeded without spending stupid money. You need good management and an eye for talent as much as money to be successful. Spanish and English big spending clubs are basically broke but continue to rubbish this game with their stupid borrowed big money antics.
on the 29th June, 2017 at 6:37am
Salah is a mercenary, I'm surprised he stayed at Roma as long as he did. As for Manolas and Paredes, neither was ever good enough for a scudetto-winning team, which is what Roma presumably aim to be. The problem is that so far Monchi seems to be happy to replace them with mediocre players of the same calibre. Juventus has won 6 straight scudetti because they have by far the best defence, why do Roma and Napoli keep investing in more attackers and ignoring defence?
on the 29th June, 2017 at 5:07am
Salah for €50m was worth it. He had a great season, but he's certainly replaceable. Manolas and Parades are also replaceable figures. Moreno is already an International level player with heart. Pellegrini, Karsdorp, and Ganalons are all great additions. It looks like Monchi will acquire another striker and maybe two wingers. That's only 3 changes to the starting lineup, so I don't see why they won't do well. Berardi would be ideal as he has a huge potential and adds to the Italian presence.
on the 29th June, 2017 at 12:51am
Until Seria A gets back on it's feet then Italain clubs won't be able to compete money wise with the EPL n the top CL clubs. Italy used to be same in 90's, they'd throw money around like crazy but they are smarter these days by focusing on youth and buying promising up n coming stars. Manolas would b a loss but he didn't exactly have the best season n that Moreno looks good, no-nonsense. I rate Monchi, he knows what he's doing n all in all I think the future looks more competitive for Serie A!
on the 28th June, 2017 at 10:45pm
Sounds a bit much to say they are just a selling club! They're not exactly like Atalanta r they? They r actually buying players this year. Moreno, Karsdorp n Pellegrini all look promising. Salah will need replacing though n they need another striker! Once their new stadium is open they prob won't need to sell at all. Juve, Milan n Inter aren't selling anymore either n the odd time Juve do it's clever like Sandro for £70m n they'll prob replace him wi someone better n 1/2 the price knowing Juve!
on the 28th June, 2017 at 10:35pm
I don't like Roma but selling salah and getting 50 million euros is absolutely phenomenal work by Monchi.Losing Manolas to zenit tough one, so is Moreno Fazio's new partner in Central defence?
on the 28th June, 2017 at 9:39pm
No clue what the finished product would be, but I would like Paredes to stay. I believe he has a lot more potential to fulfill. Juve don't really sell but keep making valuable additions while Roma keep reshuffling the deck, which is why we have to gather momentum before making any kind of statement and usually are out of contention by that time.
on the 28th June, 2017 at 4:46pm
Selling club? That pretty much sums up the state of Seria A, lol
on the 28th June, 2017 at 4:11pm
I can understand salah and peredes but manolas he is the focal point of the defense a player which roma could build their defense around for the next decade.
on the 28th June, 2017 at 3:13pm
Predicting where we will finish is premature. It's not even July and we will be very active. Monchi has put in work since day 1.. Will we challenge for the title? Most likely not, this is Juve's league and many of our players have to gel.

Thankfully top 4 qualify directly to CL. Milan teams also have a ways to go but will be formidable opponents.

EDF is the wildcard. It all depends on him. Tons of pressure. Let's be patient. He may surprise.

Fans need to level their ambition but wont happen.
on the 28th June, 2017 at 12:06pm
The author is right. This is a club that sells to balance it's books. At least now we have a no-nonsense DS that will stand by his price while getting good and/or promising players.

This will be the norm until the stadium happens (if it ever does). Monchi is laying the ground work. Salah and Manolas sales hurt but we been here before. Anyone who thought Monchi was coming in and we were not gonna sell was delusional.

Be thankful he chose us because it was gonna be like this with or without him.
on the 28th June, 2017 at 11:58am
I don't know who will replace salah, the most danger man.
And I don't think Roma is stronger than Lazio any more f7
on the 28th June, 2017 at 11:15am
This year its not about who is leaving but about who is staying. Top six next year? Scary stuff
on the 28th June, 2017 at 9:40am
Good for serie a I think. Although I hope they apply themselves more in Europe.juve need help from the rest to drag up the rep of serie a. Milan and inter have abandoned us for the time being. Now get ur stadium up so u can have some class and stop acting like victims because juve planned ahead before inter and the prosocuters planned character assault even though inter did exactly the same thing!!!!!!!
on the 28th June, 2017 at 8:15am

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