Matteo Politano looks set to join Roma from Inter, with Leonardo Spinazzola heading the other way to join Antonio Conte’s side. As transfers go, this looks like a win-win for all concerned.
Politano’s exit is thought the be the key to allowing Olivier Giroud to join Inter from Chelsea, so it’s a dangerous game for them to be playing by stalling based on Spinazzola’s fitness tests. On the other hand, the Giallorossi are desperate to get Politano in place after Nicolò Zaniolo’s season-ending injury and could ask for no more suitable replacement than one who came up through their youth academy.
Zaniolo is just the latest, as injuries have plagued the side all season. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has struggled for a run of games since his Summer move, whilst Diego Perotti, Bryan Cristante, Justin Kluivert, Cenzig Under and Lorenzo Pellegrini have all had long-term issues.
Politano fits the mould of the Roma attackers perfectly, and is a logical signing given he has fallen down the pecking order at Inter. A tricky forward well suited to playing on the counter-attack, his strong dribbling ability and pace on the ball mean he shouldn’t have too much trouble settling into Paulo Fonseca’s style.
Although without a goal this season, he has only managed 252 minutes in Serie A, with nine of his 11 appearances coming off the bench, so it will be understandable if it takes him a few games to get up to speed for Fonseca’s side. He did feature for ten minutes in the draw with Atalanta, but since the start of November, he has only played 21 minutes, although this was down to the impressive form of strikers Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku.
He will certainly be a good fit to Roma’s system, and add much-needed depth at a time when they are stretched by injuries, and as a result, he offers a low-risk, logical option for Fonseca’s team. On top of all that, he knows the club well from his previous time here, is from the Capital and can even help boost Roma’s quota of homegrown players.
Spinazzola is heading the other way as part of the deal, and his signing will add depth at wing back, with changes expected within the squad as Conte continues to shape his side. Another player who has perhaps not seen as much football as he would have liked this season, he is no stranger to playing wide in a five-man midfield thanks to his two years under Gian Piero Gasperini at Atalanta.
An energetic, box-to-box wing-back, he is happy to drive on the ball and will provide an outlet for Conte’s side. The potential is certainly there for the Italian to thrive under Conte’s man-management, and if he can return to the form which saw him shine for Atalanta and earn a move to Juventus, he could represent another astute signing for Inter, and help add numbers as they press on towards the league title.