One of Roma’s biggest tasks this transfer window has been to reduce their wage bill.
The club’s wage structure has in some cases been inefficient in recent years. Several of Roma’s highest earners have not had the desired effect.
Conversely, sometimes the smaller earners have made an impact beyond what anyone could have expected of them.
But which players were the most cost effective for Roma in 2019-20?
Here, Giallorossi Yorkshire compares each member of last season’s squad’s net salary with the number of minutes they played, to see how much each minute of their action cost the club.
Players who joined or left the club in January are not included. Salary data is taken from Calcio e Finanza – where Riccardo Calafiori’s figures were unavailable, although he admittedly only made one appearance.
The final figures are rounded to the nearest euro.
24. Juan Jesus – €9,692 per minuteEmbed from Getty Images
One of the main players to be criticised for being on too high a salary, Juan Jesus only managed five appearances for Roma in 2019-20.
The defender was shown little confidence by Paulo Fonseca, but earned €2.2m for the year.
He may have still only been Roma’s 17th highest earner last season, but the club saw little return on what they paid him.
23. Javier Pastore – €5,660 per minute
Another of the more infamous cases of a Roma player earning too much, Javier Pastore signed a lucrative contract in 2018 that would see him gain €4.5m per season.
Roma’s second highest earner behind Edin Dzeko, Pastore has done little to warrant being on such a high salary.
Injuries have severely restricted his gametime, as he played just 795 minutes of football in 2019-20.
22. Davide Zappacosta – €5,605 per minute
Brought in on loan from Chelsea, Davide Zappacosta’s time at Roma got off to a slow start due to injury.
When he returned towards the end of the season, he had fallen down the hierarchy, leaving him with just 446 minutes of action.
Zappacosta was one of five players on a €2.5m net salary last season, but was by far the least effective.
21. Daniel Fuzato – €5,556 per minute
2020 was the year in which Daniel Fuzato finally made his senior debut for Roma at the age of 23, playing in the last game of the Serie A season against Juventus.
The goalkeeper was Roma’s lowest earner of the campaign with a salary of just €0.5m, but even that wasn’t cost effective, as he only played once.
He has since left on loan to Gil Vicente in Portugal.
20. Mert Cetin – €3,937 per minute
Another player to have left on loan since the season ended, Mert Cetin managed just six appearances in his first year at Roma.
Of the outfield players on this list, only Juan Jesus featured in fewer minutes than Cetin’s 254.
Like Fuzato, he didn’t earn particularly much – his net €1m salary was the lowest of any outfield player – but didn’t get enough chances to repay that which he did.
19. Nikola Kalinic – €3,525 per minuteEmbed from Getty Images
One way in which Roma need to reduce their wage bill is by making sure back-up players don’t earn too much – but that’s what happened with Nikola Kalinic.
The striker was one of several players to earn €3m across the season – only Pastore and Edin Dzeko earned more – but often played second fiddle to the Bosnian.
Kalinic’s gametime improved towards the end of the season, and he had an efficient goals-to-minutes ratio, but he still failed to surpass the 1,000-minute mark in terms of appearances.
18. Diego Perotti – €2,655 per minute
Another of Roma’s most injury prone players, Diego Perotti earned the same salary as Kalinic, but was also rarely on the pitch.
The winger found himself behind Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Justin Kluivert in the pecking order.
However, he still finished as Roma’s seventh top scorer for the season with six goals.
17. Cengiz Under – €2,170 per minute
An injury halted Cengiz Under’s progress in 2019-20, after which his campaign never really got going.
The winger also struggled to fit in Roma’s new formation when they changed to a 3-4-2-1, leaving him with marginally more gametime than Perotti.
Under signed a new contract last summer which included a wage rise, but his growth did not quite follow the path it had been doing until then.
16. Antonio Mirante – €1,661 per minute
Antonio Mirante was called upon fairly frequently again for a backup goalkeeper, stepping in when Pau Lopez was injured.
The Italian veteran earned a net salary of just €1m, but still only managed seven appearances.
He proved himself to be a capable deputy in those games, though.
15. Henrikh Mkhitaryan – €1,637 per minuteEmbed from Getty Images
Henrikh Mkhitaryan was among Arsenal’s highest earners, but sacrificed some of those luxuries to get back on track in Rome.
That he certainly did, with the attacking midfielder ending the season as the club’s second top scorer for the year.
He could have been higher on this list had it not been for an injury in the Autumn months. However, he returned in well enough time to make his contribution.
14. Davide Santon – €1,540 per minute
Used as a versatility man under Paulo Fonseca in his first pre-season before being frozen out by the end of the campaign, Davide Santon fell short of playing in 1,000 minutes in 2019-20.
Fortunately, his net salary was only €1.5m, so he didn’t prove too much of a burden on the club financially.
Nonetheless, they still may go their separate ways before the transfer window closes to get his wages off the books.
13. Federico Fazio – €1,415 per minute
Perhaps unfairly thrown in with some of the less efficient players by some critics, Federico Fazio actually still featured relatively often despite no longer being first choice in his position.
The centre-back played over 1,750 minutes while earning a net salary of €2.5m, having signed a new contract last summer.
However, he too may be shown the door before the end of the transfer market, especially with other defenders potentially arriving.
12. Edin Dzeko – €1,412 per minuteEmbed from Getty Images
Roma’s highest earner, but still their best player on paper. Edin Dzeko became club captain midway through last season, at the start of which he had signed a new contract.
The striker took net wages of €5m, but played more than any other outfield player.
He also was the club’s highest goalscorer of the season with 19, justifying his costly salary – although Roma may be rethinking that amid his increasing age and interest from Juventus.
11. Leonardo Spinazzola – €1,388 per minute
It took some time for Leonardo Spinazzola to show his best form last season, but he was still getting plenty of action even when he wasn’t in his preferred position.
Roma’s most expensive acquisition last summer, the full-back eventually clocked in more than 2,000 minutes of football.
He took a high salary of €3m, but became Roma’s first choice left-back by the end of the season.
10. Nicolo Zaniolo – €1,246 per minute
Nicolo Zaniolo burst onto the scene in 2018-19, with his increased status earning him an improved contract.
He continued to be an efficient resource for Roma, managing more than 2,000 minutes even though he was injured for a large portion of the second half of the season.
If he fully recovers from his latest long-term injury, his stock will surely continue to rise.
9. Amadou Diawara – €1,170 per minute
Signed onto a €2.5m-per-season contract last summer, Amadou Diawara didn’t get quite as much regular gametime as he would have liked, but would still definitely make Roma’s strongest possible lineup.
The midfielder made 30 appearances in total, despite also spending some time on the sidelines with injury.
In total, Diawara played in more matches than in any of his three seasons at Napoli.
8. Chris Smalling – €939 per minuteEmbed from Getty Images
The first of eight players to cost less than €1,000 per minute of action, Chris Smalling was indispensable for Paulo Fonseca in 2019-20.
The Englishman thoroughly impressed during his loan spell from Manchester United, with only Pau Lopez and Aleksandar Kolarov playing in more matches.
Hence, financially he had very little burden on the club – until his strong performances increased the price Man Utd wanted in order to sell him on a permanent basis.
7. Jordan Veretout – €933 per minute
One of five outfield players to manage more than 3,000 minutes of action, Jordan Veretout was the most important element of Roma’s midfield.
Signed last summer onto a €3m contract, the Frenchman quickly settled in, eventually featuring in 43 games – which saw him tied with Dzeko for the most Roma appearances last season.
And Veretout made every minute count – Roma visibly suffered when he wasn’t on the pitch.
6. Aleksandar Kolarov – €857 per minute
Aleksandar Kolarov’s final season with Roma before his departure to Inter Milan wasn’t his finest, but he was still a first team regular – playing in 42 games for a combined total of more than 3,500 minutes.
The left-back eventually lost his place to Leonardo Spinazzola, meaning a sale made sense to avoid having a backup player on a €3m net salary.
While there will be some regret about losing a good professional to a rival club, Kolarov’s departure may be a sign of the club’s finances slowly becoming better managed.
5. Justin Kluivert – €845 per minute
Still a young man, Justin Kluivert was one of Roma’s lowest earners in 2019-20, with a net salary of €1.8m.
He still managed to feature in 31 games, showing some signs of improvement as a long-term investment for Roma.
The formation change towards the end of the season did not help his cause, but Kluivert had already contributed a decent amount up until then.
4. Lorenzo Pellegrini – €795 per minute
Lorenzo Pellegrini was Roma’s vice-captain by the end of the season, but despite his improving stature, he was still only on a contract worth €2m net per season.
The club are regularly said to be in talks to renew that contract, with the presence of a €30m release clause far from comforting.
Pellegrini stepped up amid the uncertainty, though, and led the way for Roma in terms of assists across the campaign.
3. Pau Lopez – €794 per minute
There were times last season when it seemed like Pau Lopez had made one error too many, but Paulo Fonseca kept the faith in him.
Hence, the goalkeeper ended the campaign with more minutes than anyone else. However, his performances didn’t always warrant being the club’s joint-third highest earner on €3m per season.
Roma seem to have stuck with him for the upcoming season, so their most expensive goalkeeper signing of all-time will be looking to justify his price tag.
2. Bryan Cristante – €677 per minute
Right from the beginning under Fonseca, Bryan Cristante earned appreciation from his new coach.
Despite being praised by Daniele De Rossi after the club legend’s departure last summer, Cristante’s gametime decreased – but he still featured in more than 2,200 minutes.
Only on a net salary of €1.5m, the midfielder showed some signs of improvement across the season. However, he still has some way to go to repay the transfer fee Roma set aside for him two years ago.
1. Gianluca Mancini – €568 per minuteEmbed from Getty Images
Arriving last summer and quickly making an impression, Gianluca Mancini became a first team regular for Roma in no time at all.
The defender featured in 41 games, for a total of 3,522 combined minutes. Of the outfield players, only Dzeko played more.
Mancini established himself as first choice partner to Chris Smalling, and was on a lower salary than his teammate, at just €2m net. While he still has some room for improvement, he looks to have been a worthwhile investment.