Three unpopular players Roma should consider keeping

Every year, when Roma look ahead to the transfer window, there seems to be a long list of players who could be cleared out.

These fringe players are wanted off the books for a variety of reasons: loss of form; older age; high wages; or a combination of all.

Very rarely does a full squad overhaul actually materialise. In fact, there are a few players left in the current squad that Roma might have wanted gone sooner, but have been unable to shift.

Selling some will be one of Tiago Pinto’s main tasks this summer, but he must go about it carefully. Knowing that it is unlikely Roma will be able to sell every fringe player, here are three who may still come in useful next season – even if many fans would rather see them leave.

Cengiz Under

When Under burst onto the scene halfway through his debut campaign in Italy, his future began to look bright.

Sadly, he hasn’t been able to build on that potential. Despite scoring the first official goal of Paulo Fonseca’s reign, he struggled for consistency across the whole of last season. Ultimately, tactical problems were blamed as he was sent to Leicester on loan in the summer.

Under’s spell in England has not gone to plan either. The Turk has been unable to hold down a regular spot under Brendan Rodgers and a permanent move seems unlikely.

With Roma needing to sell players to raise funds this summer, it had been hoped that Leicester would buy Under. But the change of an obligation to buy into an option to buy in the late stages of negotiations began to cast doubt on that eventuality. What has (or hasn’t) followed on the pitch hasn’t helped.

There are rumours that Under could move back to his native Turkey. But if Roma can’t get the price they want for him, they could try to utilise him instead.

Both Pedro and Carles Perez have struggled for form on the right-hand side of attack this season. Furthermore, Nicolo Zaniolo will not be ready to play every week when he returns from a long-term injury. Hence, Under could be an option to provide cover on the wing.

Much will depend on the coach and which formation they use. But even if Fonseca stays – or at least the 3-4-2-1 does – Under is not as much of a mismatch for that system as some think. Yes, he likes to start from a wider position, but many of his goals come from a more central area.

He remains under contract until 2023, so next season will be crucial for his re-sale value. Rather than take another risk by loaning him to a club where he may not play, Roma could maximise his value by trying to get a good season out of him on their own turf.

Under has shown flashes of potential and that should not be forgotten.

Robin Olsen

Another player whose time in England has not gone to plan, Olsen has actually done relatively well for Everton. However, he is unlikely to stay there after being attacked at his home recently.

Olsen was an inadequate replacement for Alisson Becker when he joined Roma in 2018. But that doesn’t mean he should be solely judged on that season. With major changes expected in Roma’s goalkeeping department this summer, maybe Olsen could have a role.

Not only are the club looking for a new number one, they are also likely to release Antonio Mirante (even if there is an argument that they should not). In that event, Olsen may be useful as backup – as he has been at Everton – if he is happy to.

It may be a risk, but with a solid first-choice ahead of him, it could be something to consider.

Davide Santon

Santon has never been the most popular player at Roma, but he hasn’t been anyone’s least favourite either.

He has been out of action for a while, which doesn’t help. But casting the mind back to the first few weeks of the season, he did find some form.

Rick Karsdorp has established himself as the first-choice right-back since then. But with Bruno Peres expected to leave as a free agent and Bryan Reynolds perhaps not quite first-team ready yet, Santon could take on the role of backup for one more year.

One solution could be to loan Reynolds out to build his experience, and keep Santon to compete with Karsdorp. Then, when the American is ready and Santon’s contract is up, that would be the time for him to depart.

For another season, though, he could come in handy.

There have been rumours of interest in Elseid Hysaj, who could fulfil a similar role if he was to join on a free from Napoli. But as stated earlier, wholesale changes are never likely. So, if that deal doesn’t come off, Santon may have one more chance in Rome.

Any of those three players could have a point to prove. Even though expectations should not be too high, they shouldn’t necessarily be written off just yet.

Show your support by following Giallorossi Yorkshire on TwitterFacebook and YouTube, and subscribe to the monthly newsletter.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.