The goals have gone from the red half of Rome. After a free-scoring first half of the season from their forwards fired La Lupa into the Champions League places, a worrying collective drought in front of goal is threatening to torpedo a once-promising campaign.
Since the start of February, the statistics are not pretty for the club's key attackers, but their goals are crucial if the Giallorossi want to play and not only watch Champions League football on TV next season. Vital quartet Edin Dzeko, Borja Mayoral, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pedro have combined for just one goal in the last eight Serie A games, and that dry spell has coincided with the Giallorossi's tumble down the table and in the Betway odds.
Roma were sitting pretty in the third spot after a comfortable 3-1 triumph over Hellas Verona on the final day of January, but they have since slid down the standings after taking just 10 points from the last 24 on offer. That slump has allowed Juventus, Atalanta and Napoli to pass them, and there is now a five-point gap between La Lupa and Gian Piero Gasperini's side in fourth.
Each member of the foursome mentioned above warrants their share of flak for the negative run of results, but Dzeko is deserving of the harshest treatment. The Bosnian bomber's ongoing feud with Fonseca has created an unwanted distraction for the club, who will likely seek the sale of their former captain in the summer.
Getting an ageing Dzeko's massive wages (third highest net salary in Serie A at €7.5 million a year) off the books would be a boon for the Eternal City slickers. Replacing him with a younger attacker seems sensible, and Fiorentina hitman Dusan Vlahovic has been heavily linked in the last few weeks. However, the Giallorossi face stiff competition from Milan for the Serbian starlet's signature.
The precocious Viola predator still has plenty of room to grow at 21. Still, his devastating displays during Cesare Prandelli's brief second stint in Tuscany suggest that he could come in and immediately provide stiff competition for Mayoral.
Despite his recent Serie A struggles, the Spanish striker has proven an intelligent investment, and it would be no surprise to see La Lupa execute the €15 million buy option they have on the player this summer.
If Roma make both of those moves, they would have a fledgling forward line that could develop into one of the most dangerous divisions.
Betting on potential makes sense for the Friedkins, especially considering the turmoil surrounding other club areas.
Fonseca's future is up in the air at the moment, and the Portuguese tactician is likely to depart if Champions League football cannot be secured.
Such a failure would negatively impact an already delicate financial situation that forced the Friedkins to scrap the long-discussed project for a new stadium in favour of heavier spending on transfers.
There would be even more money available if a ticket to Europe's premier club competition can be procured.
Atalanta's advantage is not irretrievable, while an enticing Europa League quarterfinal is on the docket with Ajax. There is still time to save a flagging season, but that will not be possible without the strikers' support.