Friday August 3 2018
Roma take summer step back

Though Roma have stockpiled plenty of young talent, the sales of Alisson and Radja Nainggolan mean a step back in the short-term, writes Matthew Santangelo.

Fresh off a third place finish and enthralling semi-final run in last season’s UEFA Champions League, Roma entered this summer looking to take the next step forward in pursuit of bigger and brighter achievements.

Early and often, sporting director Monchi spun a successful 2017-18 and profitable European campaign into a heavy influx of talent, building a squad for manager Eusebio Di Francesco to move full steam ahead, with both short and long-term goals in mind. Bryan Cristante, Justin Kluivert, Ante Coric and William Bianda are among the younger acquisitions to support the Giallorossi cause next season, and beyond. Meanwhile, the capture of former Palermo attacking midfielder Javier Pastore from Paris Saint-Germain replenishes some of that creativity and attacking energy lost with the sale of Belgian workhorse Radja Nainggolan to Inter.

The likelihood of Roma delving back into the market during the remaining weeks of the summer mercato remains relatively high as both a winger and midfielder pique their interest. Certainly, the collapsed deal for Malcom threw a wrench in Monchi’s plans as his arrival would have closed shop on the search for a wide man to unlock opposing defences and add an attacking element Roma currently lacks at this time. And while Sevilla’s Steven N’Zonzi could still wind up landing on Italian soil in the Capital city, there are plenty skeptical about their summer activity to date, and whether it will be enough to move the needle forward heading into the 2018-19 Serie A season.

Nainggolan’s absence will undoubtedly have an effect on the way Roma play through the midfield, as his marauding runs and aggressive nature to charge into advanced positions cannot be understated. Factor in the sale of another star to Liverpool in goalkeeper Alisson, albeit for a price which could reach €72.5m, and the perception of Roma looks to be that of a club who are perhaps not all=in at this time for the Scudetto. That stands in contract to a team like Inter, for instance, who with a Champions League return, have shown great intent of challenging for silverware.

Roma’s concerns over the past few years with regards to working within the confines of Financial Fair Play are understood, but at some point, it becomes a hard pill to swallow for the supporters. Most clubs riding a third place finish and impressive Champions League campaign are expected to forge ahead and continue the chase for silverware through star retention and significant investment back into the market. But the fact remains: as long as Monchi is pulling the strings on the transfer front, many expect Roma to stagnate or perhaps even regress in the event several of their additions do not pan out.

With this all being said, and knowing Monchi’s ability to pull off shrewd signings, there is still a possibility that Roma can alter the public’s perception of being a ‘supermarket’, but only if they tick off the remaining items in their summer checklist.

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Have your say...
I for one like what Roma have done, they have added some shrewd signings to give EDF a number of options. The sales of Nainngolan and Alisson weakens the team this season but the 100MM plus funded a recruitment drive which will see the club move forward for the next 5 years.

Kluivert, Cristante and Coric come with solid reputations for young players. If Schick can re-capture hi form while the likes of Pellegrini and Under continue to develop, the future is bright.
on the 8th August, 2018 at 9:08pm
What are you guys talkin about?
This is the most qualitative squad we ever had since we won the Scudetto!
on the 5th August, 2018 at 2:04am
Roma are building a squad for the future along with the await of the Stadio that's taking far too long due to stupid Roman politics & not us.

Yes, to most it seems were taking a step back but you have to remember Ninja was smoking & drinking all the time in private until he aired the video at New Year. He was getting older & what we got for him was a good price.

I'm not saying we're going out gun blazing's as we're not but watch Schick & Under this season. Those 2 will set the team alight.
on the 4th August, 2018 at 5:23pm
Simple, they should just stop being a feeder club if they want be a huge club.

on the 4th August, 2018 at 12:36pm
roma have been consistently taking a step back every summer for the last 7 years they have sold a squad worth of their best players.

i can't see roma using the same tactics especially with the players available to they brought in pastore cristante coric and kluviert into a team full of attacking creative forwards/wingers. This is still a midfield with de rossi and strootman get the right balance losing radja would seem so dramatic. As for alison right to take the deal still he's un replaceable
on the 3rd August, 2018 at 10:43pm
EDF got lucky in CL last year and showed his inability in 1st leg semi. Monchi runs like a headless chicken penny pinching over mahrez last year then waisting 38 mil on schick.
In the tradition of Iturbe Dumbya Defrel we now get Santon Marcano etc Jesus!! and I don't mean our CB.
The 3 main signings Pastore doesn't fit EDF system Cristante is back up quality and over priced, only kluivart was decent business, selling ninja is insane.
Club has no ambition or identity. 2019 LUCKY IF FINISH TOP 4
on the 3rd August, 2018 at 8:52pm
"That stands in contract to a team like Inter, ..."

It's "contrast", not "contract".
on the 3rd August, 2018 at 8:39pm
Lets wait until the season begins to judge which direction they step...
on the 3rd August, 2018 at 5:22pm
Roma made so many changes this summer, they're making lots of purchasing, it will be interesting to see whether they can get that chemistry going quickly as things can easily go south with that many changes being made.
on the 3rd August, 2018 at 2:29pm
It's "pique" not "peak".
on the 3rd August, 2018 at 1:48pm

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