Friday June 8 2018
Roman Evolution

The Giallorossi have hit the ground running in the off season and there is a clear pattern emerging, notes Nick Valerio.

As Carlo Ancelotti settles in to life in Naples, Max Allegri haggles with the Juventus board for a sizable war chest, last term’s third best club Roma have wasted little time in taking action in the transfer market.

With the World Cup on the horizon, the work already achieved by Sporting Director Monchi is to be admired, and there is an evident pattern in the Spaniard’s dealings since moving to Italy.

Two of the 49-year-old’s first signings were Hector Moreno, a no-nonsense defender brought in to add depth to the backline, and former Manchester City full-back Aleksandar Kolarov.

Aside from their positions, the other connection between the duo were their ages. The Serbian international was the wrong side of 30 upon arrival and Moreno has now hit this milestone. Further forward, Monchi signed Turkish starlet Cengiz Under and Sampdoria striker Patrik Schick at 19 and 21 respectively.

Now 12 months later, and the Lupi have already secured the services of 30-year-old defender Ivan Marcano from Porto and youthful midfielders Ante Coric and Bryan Cristante, and it’s evident there is a certain profile in place for both ends of the pitch. The front six positions continue to go through constant evolution while the rearguard offers the experience in the side.

Roma’s first choice midfield currently reads captain Daniele De Rossi, Kevin Strootman and Radja Nainggolan, but there are varying doubts on each. Belgium star and heartbeat of the team Nainggolan continues to be linked with big money moves to China and Inter, and this summer is likely to be the player’s final opportunity at securing one last lucrative transfer.

Colleagues De Rossi and Strootman are still top drawer performers, but can’t be relied upon to play every week after accumulating their fair share of injuries over the years. Meanwhile, local lad Lorenzo Pellegrini’s modest €25m buyout clause is likely to be met, either by a club in Serie A or in England, and the Giallorossi have acted emphatically as a result.

Promisingly, Roma have not rested on their laurels, and with rumoured bids for Justin Kluivert and Ajax team-mate Hakim Ziyech already lodged, Eusebio Di Francesco could be spoilt for choice ahead of the 2018-19 campaign.

The Italian tactician has a proven track record with burgeoning talents and in Coric, Under, Schick, with Kluivert potentially to add to the mix, Roma could possess the most sought after wonderkids on the continent. The ex-Sassuolo boss will be managing potential stars of the future, but, crucially, good enough to play and learn in the present.

While Edin Dzeko arguably remains one of the first names on the teamsheet, the Bosnian isn’t get any younger, and provided his move comes to fruition, Kluivert will form a quartet that has all the necessary qualities to transform Roma gradually, but successfully, over time as Monchi’s image on the squad continues to take shape.

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Have your say...
Center back. They need a world-class center back. Manolas is not good. Fazio is a lovely partner but you need a lead guy. And work out your RB. Florenzi is not a RB. I like Peres, but Roma don't seem to.

I like Strootman a lot, but he has never meshed too much with De Rossi, for me. No way I sell Nainggolan, unless he wants to go. To Inter? Pssh. They're not offering enough. Why does Serie A undervalue their players and overvalue others? Do they admire the English mentality?
on the 12th June, 2018 at 5:12am
Roma should do well again in the CL, however a big question mark remains to their Serie A real value.
Monchi is taking a gamble.
on the 11th June, 2018 at 6:22pm
Great work until now by Monchi, fast signing without drama.
I really hope we land Ziyech hes that pjanic-like type of player Roma have been missing for years
on the 8th June, 2018 at 3:18pm
Once they break ground with their new stadium (in 2030 =)) they will gain success.
on the 8th June, 2018 at 2:17pm
It's painful to be a Roma fan. They always seem more interested in turning a profit for their players rather than actually winning trophies. That's why they'll never win the scudetto. If they ship off Alisson, Nainggolan, Strootman, Pellegrini then they (again) are proving to be a selling club not a winning club. They have the talent already at their disposal. They need to keep these players and tweak a few positions to add depth and youth. We can't have another Salah situation this year.
on the 8th June, 2018 at 1:15pm
To be honest i would sell our great GK and bring in Kluivert and the other Ajax player, and give Defrel a boot. Skorupski is not bad
on the 8th June, 2018 at 1:02pm
@spirit_willy Roma most certainly don't need Moreno. 1) He isn't that good at all 2) Kolarov will be good for another season 3) Luca Pellegrini deserves a chance

On the basis of the overall article I am slightly worried by the transfer campaign. We are bringing in good young players but we seem to be making whole sale changes again. We only needed to bring in 1 real quality player for each area of the field to strengthen an already strong squad.
on the 8th June, 2018 at 12:40pm
@ spirit_willy

Why do you think Moreno would be a hit? He's been hopeless at Liverpool.

If he's not good enough at a team that can't defend, he's unlikely to be any good at another team who can't defend either.
on the 8th June, 2018 at 11:51am
As long as they can keep Alisson, they can still challenge. As usual, am seeing one or two big names leaving, probably Alisson, Nainggolan or Pellegrini. The latter has always covered in so well for any of the midfielders' absence.
The team also needs another sharp shooter. Defrel & Gerson shd find other clubs.
on the 8th June, 2018 at 11:28am
roma needs a leftback with a certain pedigree, my suggestion is alberto moreno of liverpool as my instinct suggest that could be tremendous hit. Talisca would be nice but pocket berardi first!. Wow! What a roma comin next season!!
on the 8th June, 2018 at 9:55am
Go get Anderson Talisca Monchi instead of Ziyech and then a left back. Realize Perroti he is not clinical. Loan out Gerson.
on the 8th June, 2018 at 8:32am

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