The striker Mourinho is looking for (based on the messages he sends, we’re talking about Alvaro Morata) may not arrive (costs are currently too high), but we will definitely see one more attacker, and maybe the coach will be fine with that, especially if we’re talking about Gianluca Scamacca. Meanwhile, unless there are dramatic changes – as reported from France – the midfielder Renato Sanches is on his way, on loan (with an option to buy) from PSG. In that case, the midfield would be complete. The gap, even a big one, is upfront. The attack relies on Andrea Belotti, the only center forward on the roster. Paulo Dybala is there, but he can only act as a center forward when needed. In an exhibition match against Braga, Mou made substitutions for all players in the second half, leaving Belotti on the field for the entire ninety minutes out of necessity. Haste doesn’t help, and Roma cannot risk making an acquisition just for the sake of it. That would be counterproductive, but the longer they wait, the bigger the problem becomes because whoever arrives will need a natural adaptation phase.
MANCINI WEARING A MASK
In the last friendly match, Roma displayed its known qualities, including balance, team compactness, and a granite-like defensive solidity (Mancini is training with a mask due to a suspected fracture; he might miss the next friendly. Yesterday, there was a highly intensive tactical training, and Rapetti, Mou’s deputy in Roma-Salernitana, demanded concentration, even with energetic tones). These characteristics are carried onto the field by the personality of their coach. The attack has always been a problem, partially mitigated by the effectiveness of Abraham (in the first year) and Dybala (in the previous one). Pinto is waiting for signals from West Ham, which hesitates to release Scamacca on loan only, given the significant economic investment made last season to sign him from Sassuolo. Inter remains on the sidelines, ready to interfere.
NOT JUST ATTACK
Before Roma can make acquisitions, they must first sell, and at the moment, feasible operations are limited to loans. The loan from PSG for Sanches, who is out of Luis Enrique’s plans, along with Wijnaldum, seems to be happening. Fabian Ruiz also risks being freed. The Portuguese player has been plagued by a never-ending series of injuries, negatively affecting his recent seasons. If he recovers, Sanches (who is friends with Nuno Santos, the Roma goalkeeper coach) is an excellent player capable of adding the much-needed change of pace to the midfield. Definitive developments are awaited, and Roma proceeds cautiously before considering the deal concluded. Sanches would bring quality and maybe even those missing goals. Goals can also come from players like Pellegrini, Aouar, and El Shaarawy, who scored in the last friendly match. “I was born a left winger, and I like to play up front. But if Mou asks, I can play as the ‘number five,’ as I’ve often done. Roma? It’s my home; my priority has always been to stay, and now I want to help the team achieve our goals,” said El Shaarawy. Another option for the midfield, in addition to the PSG surplus, is Scott McTominay, 26 years old, whom Manchester is willing to let go. While waiting for the striker, the focus is on recovering Belotti, beyond the goal he didn’t score in the last friendly. The Gallo (Belotti’s nickname) needs to regain confidence and the right mindset (as well as an acceptable physical condition, but that applies to everyone) and, at the moment, carries many responsibilities on his shoulders. It’s not a serene situation for him to perform at his best. “I see Andrea doing well; he just needs to remain calm, train, and work. The Gallo knows how to do that very well,” added El Shaarawy. The arrival of Julen Jon Guerrero on loan has been officially confirmed, and in case of a future sale to Roma, Real will retain 50 percent of the resale value.