For a variety of reasons, there could be a range of departures from the Roma squad this summer.
Some players are out of contract either this summer or next year, so could be released or sold respectively. Others might be unsettled after another failure to secure Champions League football, and still others might just have to be sacrificed because of Financial Fair Play.
There is one game remaining in the 2022-23 season for Roma, which will be against Spezia. So, who could it be a farewell for?
Here, Giallorossi Yorkshire takes a look at 12 players who might be representing Roma for the last time this weekend – if they haven’t already.
Rui Patricio has still played the vast majority of Roma matches in 2022-23, but his performance levels have declined in comparison to last season. It has led to some pressure on him and rumours that Roma might sign a new goalkeeper in the summer. In that case, with one year remaining on his contract, it remains to be seen if Patricio would remain as Roma’s backup or leave for a new challenge elsewhere.
Like Patricio, Leonardo Spinazzola is only under contract with Roma until 2024. Now 30 years old and not as impactful as he was before, the left-back isn’t believed to be untouchable anymore if offers arrive during the summer transfer window.
More centrally in defence, Roma have relied on the inconsistent but committed Roger Ibanez throughout the season. Although he is in a safer contract position, he has been identified as one of the club’s most sellable assets amid their need to comply with FFP requirements. Before the Europa League final, the Brazilian defender admitted he didn’t know if he will be staying at Roma, who may just have to cash in on him.
This one would hurt, but let’s hope it isn’t the case – and not to speak too soon, but it probably won’t be. Chris Smalling is out of contract at the end of the season and there had been fears he would leave without Champions League football. More recent claims have suggested he is now more likely to extend his stay at Roma, but with no confirmation yet, only time will tell. That said, his agent has been at Trigoria this weekend, so a renewal seems to be being finalised.
Also due to end his association with Roma at the season’s conclusion is Diego Llorente, who has been on loan from Leeds United. The high value of the option to buy in the deal has deterred Roma, but the defender has done fairly well – while his parent club have been relegated from the Premier League – so talks could yet take place about a discounted deal or even a renewal of the loan.
Moving into the midfield, Roma have been thoroughly impressed by Nemanja Matic during his first season in Serie A. The veteran only signed an initial one-year contract, though. However, there is a belief that his deal may have been extended into 2024, which would be reassuring. Nevertheless, a social media post from Matic after the Europa League final generated some worries that he was speaking about his Roma career in the past tense; let’s just hope it was lost in translation. Perhaps his future will be linked to Jose Mourinho’s, to whom he has been a loyal servant at various clubs.
Expectations were high when Roma took Georginio Wijnaldum on loan from PSG last summer, but after a leg break early in the season, he has rarely looked impactful. The relationship with the fanbase has deteriorated and it is now expected that, despite rumours Roma could extend his loan, the Dutchman will not be kept on for a second season in Italy.
In response to Wijnaldum’s injury in August, Roma wrapped up a different loan deal for Mady Camara from Olympiacos, but he has been even less impactful. Whether he even gets a chance to play against Spezia is questionable, but a permanent stay afterwards would be bizarre.
Stephan El Shaarawy
A player whose future has been a big topic in recent months, Stephan El Shaarawy is still scheduled to become a free agent this summer. His impact has been positive, though, and there should be talks about an extension. In the meantime, he has been linked with an increasingly competitive cluster of clubs elsewhere in Serie A.
This could be Roma’s biggest transfer topic of the summer. Signing Paulo Dybala last year was a huge coup and his form since has shown why. But the caveat is the remaining presence of a release clause in his contract, which makes Roma vulnerable. A new deal could remove the clause, which is something the club will have to work towards to avoid the risk of losing their top scorer from this season on the cheap.
Another of Roma’s free acquisitions from last summer, Andrea Belotti would be making his 31st Serie A appearance of the season if he was to feature against Spezia. How many goals would he need to add to his tally of zero in order to make his output look respectable? The answer is an impossible amount, so the idea of Roma activating an option to extend his original one-year deal for another two should be seriously scrutinised.
Finally, while one Englishman in the shape of Smalling should be more likely to stay than leave, the opposite is true for the other in Roma’s squad. Tammy Abraham has suffered a steep decline in form this season, so may be sacrificed in the summer – especially considering he can still command a high asking price in the Premier League. Indeed, English reports recently have confirmed Abraham is up for sale. Can he sign off by getting the one goal he needs to reach double figures for the season?
Only time will tell which of these players will still be at Roma at the start of the 2023-24 season, which others might leave, and which of those who have been out on loan elsewhere will have been offloaded permanently. It could be a summer of significant change.