How Giallorossi Yorkshire set up a Roma signing (sort of)

Roma appear to have lined up the signing of Houssem Aouar for the summer – in a move completely and undeniably influenced by this very website. Well, sort of.

First of all, what’s the story? Aouar is due to become a free agent when his Lyon contract expires in the summer. Consequently, Roma are free to speak to him about a pre-contract agreement.

Reports in mid-April revealed that Aouar has undergone some medical tests in Rome and in early May it has now become clear that an agreement with La Magica is wrapped up, paving the way for the first signing of summer 2023.

A midfielder who has spent his entire career to date with hometown club Lyon, Aouar’s proposed contract with Roma would begin a day after his 25th birthday.

But he could have joined the Giallorossi a lot sooner had they heeded the expert (OK, not quite) advice of this website.

Several years ago, Giallorossi Yorkshire was running a Q&A feature, whereby readers would open up a debate with a question that I would answer and invite others to respond to as well.

In January 2018, one question came in asking for some predictions about the kind of players that the sporting director of the time, Monchi, might make based upon his previous business with Sevilla.

With no inside information, I took it upon myself to explore themes of the signings Monchi had made for his former club. One conclusion was that he seemed to have a tendency to pick out deals for some talents in France.

From there, I did some quick research on some of the prospects who were emerging in that territory at the time.

Within my eventual response to the question was the following paragraph:

“Also in the French league is a midfielder called Houssem Aouar. He’s an agile dribbler, although he looks a little bit raw at the moment. He’s getting decent gametime (and goals) at Lyon, which is a good sign of his progress.”

Since then, whenever Aouar has been linked with Roma, I have thought back to that column. Now, five years later – albeit in very different circumstances – my prediction looks to have come true.

Of course, Monchi is long gone from Roma, which renders the original point somewhat obsolete. But still, I have to take some credit – and commission – here, right?

Granted, there were a lot of other names I threw around that never ended up on Roma’s radar – some of whom have gone on to disappoint elsewhere, but then again, this was originally a question about what to expect from Monchi, so I inadvertently might not have been too far out – yet clubs surely have long lists of potential targets. Alas, I predicted Aouar’s arrival for a different era.

This wasn’t an exclusive transfer scoop, of course, just a prediction. But I’ll happily accept a role on Roma’s scouting team if the move becomes a success.

I can’t claim to have followed every step of Aouar’s career closely since then, but I know Roma need more dynamism and composure in midfield, so I’m hoping those initial glimpses from half a decade ago (has it really been that long?!) might be able to flourish into something useful for the side.

Should everything cross the line as is now expected, I’ll be excited (perhaps more than most) to see what Aouar can do in a Roma shirt – but also nervous in case, after all this, he turns out to be a flop. I guess I’d have to take responsibility then, too.

Let’s just hope I was on the right track and Aouar can, at long last, be a positive addition for Roma.

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