It’s the “Merry-Go-Round of Wingers” this January. Why write in Italian? I just wanted to use the word “Giostra,” which is my favorite restaurant in Italy, which means merry-go-round. Anyway, this article is a wrap on the situation, as it has been quite chaotic with players coming and going on Roma’s attacking wings, from Ibarbo returning home, Iturbe moving to foul weather, Gervinho getting a private helicopter, and the possibility of a certain funky-haired pharaoh coming to Rome.
So the in January, we all play the transfer market in our heads, and think, or write in internet forums addressing “what Roma needs.” PLEASE SABATINI, NOT ANOTHER WINGER! FIX THE DEFENSE! That was the common statement. Maybe you did, but I didn’t see this revolution coming; with Luciano back on the bench and favorites becoming not so favored anymore, we get to where we are, and see that Roma is in the midst of a great cycle of attackers.
Before Spalletti was appointed, Iturbe was already gone: It was Genoa, then it was Fiorentina, then it was Watford, but Juan Manuel finally ended up at Bournemouth. I must admit, I didn’t know of the club. They’re called the Cherries if you were wondering, because their ground is on old cherry tree farms. Iturbe will spend the rest of the season there, and the deal could become permanent if Bournemouth chooses, for a grand total of 24.5 million euros; Sabatini would just about break-even. Incosistent, but truly a hard worker and great kid. He just wasn’t the right fit. One down, two to go.
Next up, Victor Ibarbo. Atletico Nacional is his new home after an unsuccessful spell with Watford. Technically, he is on loan to Roma from Cagliari, who then loaned him to Watford, who loaned him to Nacional. Roma won’t be purchasing his buyout clause which is 12 million euros. That ship has sailed. Two down, three to go.
With the arrival of Luciano, or maybe more importantly, the dismissal of Rudi Garcia, links for Gervinho shot right up. In the summer he was supposed to move to Al Jazira, but the deal fell through at the last minute. Some say it’s because he requested a helicopter and a private beach, but he dismissed those claims. I’d do the same, and maybe even something like a dolphin sanctuary in my backyard. They have more brains than Di Canio I hear.
Tonight, as of Saturday January 16th, 2016, the journos are convinced that Gervinho is moving to China: 10 million euros + bonuses for the transfer, and 8 million euros per year from Jiangsu. They’re preparing a massive Serie A squad over there, along with Luiz Adriano and Guarin, totalling almost 40 million euros in transfer fees in just a couple days. In my opinion, that is not enough money in transfer fee for Gervinho. As well, he has been Roma’s most prolific winger this season, with 7 goals and 2 assists. But alas, I am not the DS. Three down, now to reinforce…
It’s very likely, in fact almost guaranteed that Lucio has planned not to use the 4-3-3, and will revert to a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-1-2. With this change of formation, Walter will need to buy true wingers, rather than wing forwards. Necessitating wingers who provide more defensive responsibility, Diego Perotti and Stephan El Shaarawy are said to be the true targets. Now you might be thinking to yourself, “these wingers were linked when Rudi was still coach, wouldn’t Spalletti want his own picks?” Well, yes, I’m confused as well. But, SES can play as a second forward to Džeko, and can play out wide. Perotti can do the same. In fact, SES has the potential to be equally as effective as Gervinho is/was, and he is young enough to still be moldable by his new coach. When he was just 19 years old, in the 2012/13 season, SES scored 18 times for Milan and made 6 assists. If he can find that form again, Roma will have a pharaoh on each side of the pitch, opposite wing of Salah.
SES had a tough time in Monaco this season. I could think of worse places to play football.
Diego Perotti can also provide balance in attack, being a perfect match for assisting Džeko. Edin has had a tough time in finding the net this season, but a true winger, who looks to play the forward in rather than find the net himself, can be exactly what the Bosnian bomber needs to blast through the net. 4 goals and 5 assists for him last season, the only concern for Perotti is putting the injuries behind him.
Roma are raising serious cash, and Sabatini is making big changes on the wings for Luciano. With a refined attack and Spalletti’s tactics, Roma can now find its equilibrium and make a push for the Scudetto.