By Scot Munroe
One day has passed since the Summer transfer window has shut in Italy and Roma done heavy business to build a squad to challenge on three fronts and especially give Juventus a run for the Serie A Scudetto.
Roma are 2 games into the 2015-16 Serie A season and are sitting 2 points of joint surprise leaders in Chievo, Sassuolo and Torino.
Many names were rumoured to be the new no 1, names like Samir Handanovic, Sergio Romero, Petr Cech and Mattia Perin were all rumoured to be joining Roma. But Roma went for Arsenal third choice goalkeeper Wojciech Szczensy on loan from Arsenal after he fell down the pecking order at Arsenal after Petr Cech joined from city rivals Chelsea. Szczensy is already proving his worth with a fantastic last minute save against Juventus denying Leonardo Bonucci in stoppage time.
The full backs were the main problems of last season as Roma missed Maicon for the majority of last season and had to field Alessandro Florenzi as an emergency right back at the end of the season. Sadly this problem wasn’t addressed, Florenzi has started the last two games at right back with Torosidis on the bench and Maicon lacking fitness. Roma spent most of the transfer window being linked with Torino right wing back Bruno Peres who was one of the stand out players in Serie A last season. Every day Roma were linked with him and on deadline day Roma had a loan deal rejected for him and in the final hours of the transfer window Torino blocked his move to the capital. I wonder if Roma will go back in for Bruno Peres either in January or next summer.
The Left back role is a spot where Roma have struggled for a few seasons and with the Sale of Jose Holebas to Watford and Ashley Cole being frozen out of the starting XI due to his poor first season and Federico Balzaretti retirement in the summer, Roma found themselves in a bit of a pickle. This was finally sorted out in the final days of the transfer window, with two arrivals both on loan. Lucas Digne arrive on loan from French champions PSG on a season long loan with an option for a permanent transfer. Digne impressed on his debut against Juventus he looked comfortable and added balance to the defence. The second on loan signing is Emerson Palmeri who joined on loan from Brazilian side Santos and was on loan in Italy last season making 9 appearances for Palermo
Roma welcomed Leandro Castan back into the ranks after missing the majority of last season with a head injury which needed surgery last winter. He was dearly missed and its good to have him back in the heart of the defence. Roma made two loan signings to be their 3rd and 4th choices CB behind the pairing of Leandro Castan and Kostas Manolas. Antonio Rudiger joined on a season long loan from German side VFB Stuttgart for a €4m which can be made permanent for a fee of €9m. The second loan defender is Czech born Norbert Gyomber who has joined Roma from fellow Italian side Catania. These two will add cover after the departures of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa who left to Lyon for €8m + €2m bonus and Alessio Romongoli who moved to AC Milan for a sizeable fee of €25m + €5m bonuses.
The early part of the summer was riddled with the co-ownership of Radja Nainggolan, after much negotiating with parent club Cagliari both clubs came to an agreement over the latter half of his registration for the fee €9m and the year loan of forward Victor Ibarbo who has joined Watford on transfer deadline day on a season long loan. Andrea Bertolacci second half of his registration was acquired from Genoa for €8.5m and then was sold to AC Milan in the revolution for a €20m. With Kevin Strootman injury and third knee injury in the last 18 months, Roma were a bit short of midfield cover. In the latter days of the transfer market Roma brought in French midfielder William Vainqueur on loan from Russian side Dynamo Moscow with an option to a permanent deal. Roma paid €1.5m for the season long loan and could make the deal permanent for €3.5m. The French midfielder will add competiton and add cover and depth to Roma midfield. With the addition of Vainqueuer that made room for the departure of Leandro Paredas who left on a season long loan to Empoli hoping for game time.
The attack has defientely been re-inforced and looks completely different to the front three that finished the season against Palermo. Iago Falque joined on season long loan from Genoa for €1m which will be made permanent after 1 competitive game on which he has played for €7m + €1m bonus and a contract signed until 30th June 2020. Mohamed Salah joined on a season long loan via Fiorentina from Chelsea with an option to buy. Roma paid £1.4m for the season long loan deal and can make the deal permanent for £16m. The central striker position has finally been sorted out and two accusations have been made, the first was the signing of Eden Dzeko on yet another season long loan from Manchester City, after month of speculation the Bosnian international finally made his move to Roma on a €4m year loan which can make his move permanent for €11m. Dzeko has already made an impact at Roma by scoring on his home league debut in Roma 2-1 win over Juventus on Sunday evening. The second addition is young Argentine striker Ezequiel Ponce who signed from Newells Old Boys for a fee off €4.2m.
Roma beat off competition from Juventus and Barcelona for the signature of highly rated Brazilian attacker Gerson from Fluminense. Gerson has arrived in Italy for €16m + €1m, as Gerson is non EU and he cannot play until next year. It looks like Roma will loan Gerson out in January to a fellow Serie A side.
With all the reinforcements in the attacking departments sadly there would have to be departures. Mattia Destro left on a permanent deal to Bologna for a fee €6.5m plus bonuses. Seydou Doumbia left after a horrid six months and returned back to Russia to join CSKA Moscow on a loan and has made an impact already back in Russia by scoring two in the Champions League against Sporting CP. That was a €14.4m gamble that didn’t work out which Walter Sabatini is paying for. Then on deadline day Serbian attacker Adem Ljajic departing Roma for a season long loan with an option to fellow challengers Inter for a loan fee of €1.75m which can be made permanent for €11m.
Both Gervinho and Juan Iturbe had moves elsewhere lined up but both deals collapsed, Gervinho was on his way to the middle east to Al Jazira but the deal collapsed due to rumoured high demands from the Ivorian attacker. It was rumoured that Gervinho had asked for a Helicopter and a private beach but the player has quashed these rumours. Then days before the transfer market was about to end, Rudi Garcia had told Juan Iturbe that his days at Roma were over and the Argentina/Paraguayan broke down in tears. A move to Genoa was all agreed for a loan deal with an option to buy but on the day of the Juventus game, Walter Sabatini stated that Iturbe will stay with Roma and then was involved in the home win over Juventus.