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Friday January 11 2019
Roma must stick, not twist

Tempting as it may be to sell for huge profits and reinvest, Anthony Barbagallo warns Roma will be stronger if they make no January moves.

It might be ludicrous to say, but Roma should avoid purchasing or selling any player during this current transfer window. Why? This current Roman outfit boasts a blend of experience and promising youth – a combination that eventually paid dividends for Eusebio Di Francesco in the last couple of Serie A fixtures of 2018.

The 4-2-3-1 formation seemed to perform quite effectively in the victories against Sassuolo and Parma – highlighting that Justin Kluivert, Nicolò Zaniolo and Cengiz Under playing behind either Edin Dzeko or Patrik Schick might be a fruitful alliance for the rest of the 2018-19 campaign.  

In recent years, the Giallorossi have been dubbed a supermarket by the Italian media – growing into one Serie A's biggest feeder clubs. For the Roman supporters, the pain was unbearable when waving goodbye to the likes of Wojciech Szczesny, Antonio Rudiger and Leandro Paredes a couple of seasons ago. However, these exits weren’t as depressing as when the capital club sold star midfielder Miralem Pjanic to rivals Juventus in 2016 and let their talismanic forward Mohamed Salah leave for Anfield the following year.

The transfer sales continued last summer, with La Magica this time selling their valiant goalkeeper Alisson Becker to Liverpool for a world-record fee. And then there was the sale of Radja Nainggolan – their prominent playmaker who left for an adventure up north with Inter. These recent sales of star performers have intensified the outrage among the club’s fans, who have lost faith in both club director Monchi and President James Pallotta.

Even though the three-time Scudetto winners have sold vital members of their squad in recent years, Roma still managed to sign new talent, defy the odds in securing a top-four status in Italy and establish itself as a dangerous side in Europe. However, after Alisson and Nainggolan left the Italian Capital, Roma’s performances at the start of the 2018-19 Serie A season took a turn for the worse.

One win from the opening five rounds was a disastrous start for Di Francesco’s men. It appeared that the absence of Nainggolan’s playmaking skills and Alisson’s rapid reactions between the posts were taking a toll on the struggling Giallorossi outfit. The new midfield signings of the experienced Steven Nzonzi and Javier Pastore didn’t seem to make any immediate impact. It is going to require more than scoring delightful back-heel goals for the latter to drive the midfield line.

According to Roma’s tifosi, Swedish goalkeeper Robin Olsen may not have been the same calibre replacement for Alisson, but his consistent performances at the World Cup in Russia and the €12m price tag seemed like a bargain. The Swede has produced some blunders and costly errors so far this season, but his exceptional form in the latter stages of 2018 seems to be slowly earning the trust of the Roma faithful.

Another bargain that the Giallorossi acquired from the Nainggolan move to Inter was Zaniolo. The 19-year-old revelation has instantly grown into a prominent figure in Roma’s midfield line – with his elegant and technical playing style quickly erasing the Nainggolan memories. The Tuscan starlet looks to be linking well with the other youngsters such as Under, Kluivert, Schick and Bryan Cristante. Romanisti will be hopeful that the Italian wonderkid can keep producing spectacles similar to the outrageous goal he netted against Sassuolo.

The new midfield duo of Nzonzi and Cristante has also proved to be fruitful for Di Francesco’s men in the last couple of rounds – tightening the area in front of the defence. Plus, Roma still possesses Edin Dzeko – one of the deadliest finishers in Europe when fired up. The No.9 needs to emulate his fine Champions League form in Serie A.

After the Lupi ended 2018 with three wins out of four Serie A fixtures, this form indicates that Di Francesco’s side is now starting to meld just in time for the busiest period of the campaign. With the team finally firing on all cylinders, the Coach breathing again after recent positive results and the fans entertained by Zaniolo’s performances, Roma’s transfer objective should be to hold on to its star players, especially keeping sought-after Greek defender Kostas Manolas in Rome. The Lupi should also seek to nurture their youngsters – building the team around these promising talents.

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Have your say...
Useless Lupetto,

I actually added something to conversation while your comment is just offensive.
I won't respond further to you as I see you "beneath me"...
+ I don't want to offend the writer of this article...

Have a nice trolly life.
on the 15th January, 2019 at 6:58pm
LOL this author must be new here.

The upper (mis)management of Roma have no ambition. I expect Under to be sold and maybe Schick to clubs who actually want to try to win things.

Their pathetic approach has only succeeded in making long time supporters care less and less.
on the 15th January, 2019 at 4:53pm
United States of Totti - That's a useless team and so is your comment. The article does make sense, if one's clever enough to actually think about it.
on the 15th January, 2019 at 12:12pm
Roma secured TOP FOUR places in last years?
--I guess Juventus also secured top four places last years then HAHAHA

Radja a PLAYMAKER?
Read what david and Dan wrote.

Roma shouldn't buy in january?
Read what FERBAN & Arie wrote.

Everything I wanted to say, Gi-Al-Lorossi already did. This guy has my mind.


But, hey-- what do You think of this team:
Alisson
RĂ¼diger Benatia Marquinhos Emerson P.
Paredes Pjanic Nainggolan
Salah Lamela Gervinho

Nice, right?
(I only picked players that were sold.)
on the 12th January, 2019 at 3:35pm
What Roma need is ONE thing. Building the new stadium, but the incompetent mayor of Rome Raggi won't let them =(
on the 12th January, 2019 at 2:08pm
I agree Roma shouldn't sell, however they need a top Centre back to partner Manolas. And extend Manolas and Pellegrini asap to get rid of that ridiculous release clause fees.
on the 12th January, 2019 at 5:41am
Hey Roma had Emerson Palmieri too. let him go to Chelsea. he rarely plays but has won a trophy and is on packed team with expensive talent. Unlikely to wanna come back.
To me Roma dropped the ball not having new stadio up and running @start of 2017 as promised. They had deals in place with having the Roma brand going global but fell short. Totti had less than spectacular farewell season. Theyve sold/lost 7-8 major talents in last 3 years. $190million influx. Now best they can do is maybe 4th.
on the 12th January, 2019 at 12:55am
In my oppinion most of my fellow Roma-fans are kind of crazy and have a wrong attitude towards football. I think Monchi is a good manager. He will take time. Roma have never been a worldclass name in football but we got to the semis of the CL 2018. Its crazy to think many fans wish to go back to a time where Casetti was our fullback.
When Juve where down the startet a serious long time Project. They were patient and it paid off.. Roma need the same attitude and maybe we can become a great club
on the 11th January, 2019 at 9:51pm
Nainggolan a playmaker? Really?? He's a dynamic attacking midfielder or box to box player. Roma haven't had an out and out regista or number 10 since Totti and Pjanic left. I think that this is the missing part of the jigsaw for them, the same goes for Inter - Valero is superb, but he doesn't have the legs to hold down a consistent first team place over the course of the season.
on the 11th January, 2019 at 3:21pm
Koman, Lemina and Andre Silva. Kucka, Niang, Sansone, Bacca, Poli in some of the weaker sides. When Gervinho plays for Parma, they are like another team. Now the league and the teams need to do the best of Ronaldo presence and to increase sponsorship contracts and to build new stadiums. Most South american, portuguese, spanish and italian players would prefer to play in Italy than in England if the difference in salary is not more than 15-20%.
on the 11th January, 2019 at 1:55pm
Silva, Murillo, Ljaic, Niang, Bacca,Barreca,Salah, Rudiger, Zappacosta, Paredes, Muriel, Pellegri, Koman, Lemina, Hoedt, Banega, Gabibol, Kucka, Neto, Isla, Pogba, Morata, Marcos Alonso, Vasquez, Pereyra, Vrsalko, Sansone, Glik, De Roon, Hernanes, Gabbiadini. Yes, there are probably 10 world class players in the list, but imagine if the others stayed in the league in lower-placed teams. Udinese with Kalinic, Hernanes and Hoedt; Torino with Ljaic, Zappacosta, Glik and Banega; Fio with Alonso,
on the 11th January, 2019 at 1:49pm
Alisson - Florenzi, Manolas, Rudiger, Kolarov - Pjanic, Radja, Strootman/N'Zonzi - Salah, Dzeko, Under. This could have been Roma if they had financial stability. I'm an Juventus fan but the financial weakness of the other teams is the reason why Seria A is not what it was. That's why it's good that Ronaldo arrived in the league and the maximum should be done to stabilize clubs' financial status. The league was left by Alisson, Jorgihno, Anderson, Torreira, Kondogbia, Strootman,Kalinic, Andre
on the 11th January, 2019 at 1:34pm
Radja was never a playmaker, just like Perrotta never was.
on the 11th January, 2019 at 1:23pm
... But Napoli have caught us now too. The Milan clubs have been a shambles for several seasons now, and we should have been able to put some distance between them and us. We've not done it. Inter have overtaken us and Milan will most likely do the same shortly. Add in Lazio who have had similar results to us the last couple of years on a much smaller budget and we're struggling to qualify for the Champions League. What will the fire sale look like if we miss out on that revenue???
on the 11th January, 2019 at 12:18pm
We've been saying this for years though and the pattern remains the same - sell, sell, sell. We don't even get top dollar for our sales very often and we rarely say no to any proposal. We have made some good signings over the years to compensate, especially in defence, but there's no escaping the fact that year on year we get weaker, and that shows in the results. A few years ago we we were challenging Juve. They're out of sight now, and to be fair that was probably always going to happen...
on the 11th January, 2019 at 12:14pm
They do need to make one move - sign a centre back who knows how to defend.

They should be all over Godin who is out of contract in the summer, or at least a proper defender on loan who can play in the CL.

They got the easiest draw they could've got v Porto, but with Roma's defence being the way it is, Porto will fancy beating Roma.
on the 11th January, 2019 at 12:03pm
Quite wishful thinking with Monchi is still with us. Back in the day, we had the likes of Franco Sensi, Baldini & Capello who really cared about the success of Roma but now, Pallotta seems to be more interested in making profits.
If only there were true Romanisti with lots of passion for Roma. And lots of dough.

Daje Roma !!!
on the 11th January, 2019 at 11:15am

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