How Roma will look in 2015-16

By Ali Khalid Rana

With the season pretty much over, the writing on the wall is obvious. Walter Sabatini has his job cut out as there are obvious gaps and cracks in the Giallorossi squad that need attention. In true Romanista fashion, I’m going to give my two cents on transfers ( obviously giving a hand to Sabatini) and how Roma should line up in 2015-16.

Goal Keeper:

Come next year, De Sanctis will be a year older. Already near the tail end of his career and an error waiting to happen, if Roma want to step it up he can no longer be the starting keeper.

Skorupski has failed to threaten his starting spot and is not dependable enough.

The Dream:

Mattia Perin is the dream for all Romanisti. The young Italian easily has been the league’s best goalkeeper. Getting him would mean the keeper position is sorted for years at Roma. Unfortunately, with his stocks rising every day and a plethora of clubs associated with him, the chances of him joining the eternal city are pretty slim.

More Realistic Outcome:

Petr Cech is not happy at the lack of game time at Chelsea and will be leaving the London club at the end of the season. Still 32/33, he has at least 2-3 seasons of top quality left in him. Given the good relations between Giallorossi and Chelsea, it won’t be a surprise to see him down the numero uno in Stadio Olimpico.

Samir Handanovic and Inter Milan are yet to reach an agreement on a contract extension. What might be Inter’s loss could be Roma’s gain, as the Series A veteran still can hold his own in top quality.

In: Cech

Out: Logbont, Curci

Center Backs:

It’s been an odd season for Roma. Benatia left for Munich while Castan has barely played this season. Manolas has been a beast in center of defence but Astori and Yanga Mbia have failed to impress and I doubt we’ll ever see Spolli in a Roma shirt. The returning Castan will be a typical Arsene Wenger signing.

Dream:

Mat Hummels brings defensive stability and is excellent with the football. He plays with a swagger and panache that is Benatia-esque. But with Klopp leaving Dortmund and Manchester United chasing the German, he’ll be an impossible transfer.

Balanta would be another perfect addition, given his no compromising style of defending tied with the South American flair. His young age provides the opportunity for Roma to turn him into Marquinhos, have him play as a 3rd center back and develop him into a full starter and then sell him for a ridiculous profit.

More Realistic:

Vlad Chiriches of Tottenham is struggling for playing time. Walter Sabatini and Roma have been linked with the versatile defender and in summer he is expected to play in the Italian peninsula. With Romagnoli coming of a great season on loan at Sampdoria, expect the young Italian to get a lot of game time in the Giallorossi back line.

Fullbacks:

The Achilles’ heel of the Giallorossi. Cole has failed to adjust and impress since day one. With Balzaretti yet to play a game and Maicon struggling for fitness and form, Roma has had to make do with makeshift defence in majority matches. When the recognised fullbacks Holebas and Torosidis have played, they’ve looked every bit second string players.

Dream:

Darmian. Darmian. Darmian. The Italian has been in spotlight all season and deserves to be there. Recently in a game against Roma, scouts from Barcelona came to watch him. His Italian status obviously helps in the home grown status for Champions League.

On the other flank, I would want is Augsburg Baba Rehman. The Ghanaian is a bit raw but has been massively impressive in the African Cup Qualifiers and Bundesliga. Working alongside Balzaretti and Holebas he will make the starting berth his for years.

More Realistic:

Darmian’s teammate Bruno Peres is destined to leave Torino as well. While he may not have been in the spotlight as often as the Italian International but he will surely be an upgrade on Roma’s full backs and his relatively young age means there is room for improvement.

Serie A veteran Aleksandar Kolarov is looking to come back from the Premier League. At Manchester City, he failed to establish himself as a starter and will be looking to regular playing time which the Giallorossi can definitely offer.

In: Chiriches, Romangoli, Bruno Peres, Kolarov

Out: Cole, Astori, Spolli, Maicon

Midfield:

The crown jewel of Roma, containing established internationals and in demand stars who have underperformed this season. After the 2013-14 where the Giallorossi midfield displayed champagne football, they have faltered on all expectations this season failing to control the game and play incisive football.

Dream:

Keep hold of everyone and reinforce with Khedira. With the likes of Pjanic and Strootman being linked with bigger or richer clubs, a successful window will be one where Roma manages to hang on to all of them. Nainggolan’s remaining 50% needs to be bought from Cagliari but after having brought Ibarbo on loan, I think it will be smooth sailing. Real Madrid’s Khedira will be available for free during the summer and acquiring him will strengthen the DM slot as De Rossi and Keita both age.

More Realistic:

I believe Pjanic might be sold and to be fair he has barely contributed anything this season. Finding a replacement might not be necessary as Parades and Ucan will provide enough fire power.

Rio Mavuba would most likely be brought in to provide cover for De Rossi and Keita. It remains to be seen if Kevin Strootman will be player he was before his if not, Roma might dip in to the market to get a box-to-box midfielder.

In: 50% of Nainggolan, Rio Mavuba

Out: Pjanic

Forwards:

The only area where reinforcement took place during the winter window. With Totti ageing, a new King is required in the middle of the front line.

Dream:

More a joke than a dream but Zlatan was linked with Roma by some tabloid. And how better to replace the King of Rome, then the God of football. With his record of domestic titles even Roma’s darn luck would not stop him from achieving Serie A glory.

More Realistic:

With a plethora of wingers at Roma, I expect someone to leave I reckon it would be Ljajic given Garcia’s unhappiness with him. With Verde bursting on to the scene this season, I expect him to get a lot more playing time either in the cups or against weaker opposition. Sanabria will be loaned out to give him game time.

If Pjanic stays around, Dzeko might join the club on loan but the wages would be hurdle Roma and the player would have to overcome. I think Doumbia will given a proper run in the pre-season to see if he has a future at the club.

Also Andre Ayew has been a name linked with the club lately, but he’s angling towards a move to the Premier League. The fact that he is a talent and can be signed for free means the Giallorossi will face stiff competition for him

In: Dzeko

Out: Ljajic, Sanabria (loan), Destro

In an ideal scenario, the below will be how we see Roma line up in the next season.

Possible squad 2015-16

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About Stefano Bernardini 2813 Articles
A Roman in New York achieving his dreams. Persistence can make extraordinary things happen. Editor of AS ROMA 360 | Calciomercato.it | Calcio e Finanza | Reporting on Major League Soccer.

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