A confusing couple of comments by Roma keeper Wojciech Szczesny in a November 13th press conference got the media, fans, and even the managerial staff talking.
Since Szczesny’s arrival on loan this summer from Arsenal, he has shown his class in the majority of matches played. Before the international break, he was able to keep out a barrage of Lazio shots, earning a clean sheet. Against Juventus in week two, a last-gasp miracle save helped i lupi march on to a monumental victory. His importance cannot be dismissed.
Yet, the Polish international’s move is only a loan, and details about whether or not there is an option on that loan has not been provided to the public. On November 2nd, he declared, “Nine months is a long time in football and anything can happen, but Arsenal are like a family to me and I’ve got to admit that if the Gunners do call me back, I would say yes,” in an interview with Sky Sport Italia.
Though just over a week later, his words were a bit more diplomatic: “I love Arsenal, but I’m happy at Roma. I know that Roma want me, but I don’t see why Arsenal would not want me also.”
It is said that director Walter Sabatini is looking to keep him, yet alternatives are being lined up. Brazilian third choice keeper, Alisson, has reportedly already had his agent meet with Sabatini to discuss a move. The 23 year-old is worth about 6 million euros on the market, and it’s said that Internacional are hard-pressed for cash.
Alisson’s comments are quite curious, and it seems Roma is closer than expected:
“I know there’s been an offer by an Italian club and I’ve been told I’ll stay at Internacional at least until January. But I’ve explained to the managers that my ambition is to play in Europe with a club that plays the Champions League.”In addition, our good ole Juan also plays for Internacional, and stated that “Alisson lately has been asking me about Roma.”
Back on the peninsula, two keepers are said to be in talks with Roma as well. Simone Scuffet is currently on loan at Como, where Sabatini’s brother is head coach. Coincidence? Probably not. Back when Nico Lopez was sold for pennies, a rumor floated around, claiming that the deal was so low, as there was an unwritten agreement that Roma would gain right of first refusal when Scuffet was ready to be sold by Udinese. The 19 year-old as tipped as the next great Italian keeper… But then again, so is my preferito, Mattia Perin, and Atalanta shot-stopper, Marco Sportiello. With a name like Sportiello…Every journalist will have a field day. But in all seriousness, Sportiello is a young (23) keeper who will surely become an Azzurri regular. He provides stability to the backline with his reading of the play, and can make saves from the toughest of angles. This video is a good look.
Just two days ago, Sportiello’s agent had some interesting words regarding Roma:
“I know (Roma director Walter) Sabatini well, he is a friend. I know for certain that he really admires Marco. As for what name he’s got in mind for the future, you’d have to ask him that.”
We all have favorite keepers, who we want to see in between the sticks for Roma. Yet I believe with the current suspected crop, Sabatini will make a wise decision, and Szczesny or not, Roma will be in good hands.