The Malcom-gate has hit Roma’s confidence hard. President James Pallotta didn’t like that at all, and publicly vented on the U.S. radio Sirius XM, highlighting Barcelona’s unsportsmanlike behavior as they snatched the Brazilian winger out of the hands of the Giallorossi, with the complicity of French side Bordeaux. A questionable behavior also on the part of the French, and a clear sign that the transfer market arena is getting more and more complex and competitive.
The missed arrival of Malcom sparked doubts and discontent among the Giallorossi fan base, already shocked at the recent news of a bribery investigation surrounding the construction of their new stadium. The purchase of Javier Pastore from Paris Saint Germain, and of young prospect Justin Kluivert from Ajax were not enough to put a smile on their faces, as they were rather disappointed at the sales of some of their top stars, replaced by second-choice or mostly unknown players.
On the transfer side, Roma lost the charisma of Radja Nainggolan, who “run away” to Inter to rejoin his former coach Luciano Spalletti, and bid farewell to one of the currently best goalkeepers in the world – Alisson Becker, for whom Liverpool made an unrejectable offer of 62.5 million euro.
But the Belgian and the Brazilian are only the last entries in a list of painful separations: Since Football Director Monchi joined President Pallotta at the helm of Roma, they endorsed the sale of Mohammed Salah to Liverpool, Antonio Rudiger to Chelsea, Leandro Paredes to Zenit Saint Petersburg, and Miralem Pjanic to Juventus.
There are some top sales, and earnings coming from them has always been reinvested so far. Still, the feeling among the fan base trends towards disappointment at an alleged loss of competitiveness, and puzzlement at their management’s choices. On the other hand, Roma’s leadership seem to have a clear strategy in mind, with General Manager Claudio Baldissoni aiming at a 240-million-euro revenue for the current year.
We believe this to be the right direction to go, and feel the need to reassure the Giallorossi fans: Maximizing the earnings from their own players’ sales, while progressively growing at home and in Europe, is a strategy that already paid off in the case of Arsenal and Atlético Madrid. Purchasing Bryan Cristante (23 years old) from Atalanta, Ante Coric (19) from Dinamo Zagreb, as well as Kluivert, should be seen as a further step on this path of progressive growth.
Monchi’s strategy after all, has already been successfully tested when he was working for Sevilla in Spain. Players like Dani Alves, Ivan Rakitic, Ever Banega, Luis Fabiano, and Frederic Kanouté broke through with the Andalusian side, only to be eventually sold – and without affecting Sevilla’s capacity to bring home three Europa Leagues.
On a side note, rumors have it that French Steven N’Zonzi is accepting to move to Roma, on a 2.5 million euro for four seasons deal. That means that Monchi will have to negotiate right with his former club Sevilla to give coach Eusebio Di Francesco an additional midfield solution, and raise the morale of his Roma supporters…
Ante Coric (from Dinamo Zagreb, 6 million)
Ivàn Marcano (from Porto, free agent)
Leandro Castan (from Cagliari, end of loan)
Daniele Verde (from Verona, end of loan)
Bryan Cristante (from Atalanta, 30 million)
Justin Kluivert (from Ajax, 21 million)
Davide Santon (from Inter, part of Nainggolan’s sale agreement)
Nicolò Zaniolo (from Inter, part of Nainggolan’s sale agreement)
Javier Pastore (from Paris Saint Germain, 31 million)
William Bianda (from Lens, 4 million)
Daniel Fuzato (from Palmeiras, 0.5 million)
Robin Olsen (from FC Copenhagen, 12 million)
Antonio Mirante (from Bologna)
Marco Tumminello (to Atalanta, 5 million)
Lukasz Skorupski (to Bologna, 9 million)
Radja Nainggolan (to Inter, 24 million plus Davide Santon and Nicolò Zaniolo)
José Machin (to Pescara, loan)
Arturo Calabresi (to Bologna, loan)
Umar Sadiq (to Glasgow Rangers, loan)
Bruno Peres (to Sao Paulo, loan)
Mirko Antonucci (to Pescara, loan)
Alisson Becker (to Liverpool, 62.5 million)
Ezequiel Ponce (to AEK Athens, loan)
Gerson Santos da Silva (to Fiorentina, loan)
Moustapha Seck (to Almere City, loan)
Grégoire Defrel (to Sampdoria, loan)
Hakim Ziyech (Ajax)
Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo)
Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina)
Steven N’Zonzi (Sevilla)
Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund)
David Neres (Ajax)
Tanguy Ndombele (Olympique Lyon)
Translated by Matteo Carnevale