Why Roma must try to keep Pellegrini

Transfer windows can be stressful times for Roma fans, with many worried about the potential loss of key players.

In the summer it was Mohamed Salah and Antonio Rudiger who departed, and once again there is no shortage of interest in Roma’s current stars.

One player who has been linked with a move away from the Olimpico is Lorenzo Pellegrini. Despite him only rejoining in the summer, there’s a chance of him making way, with reports suggesting Manchester United, Juventus, Manchester City and Chelsea are all interested in activating his release clause.

Pellegrini may not be a key player yet, but Roma have to do all they can to keep him at the club. He is only 21, but has shown himself to be one of Italy’s most promising young midfielders over the past couple of years. He made his senior Italy debut last year, and looks set to go on to play many more times for his country.

After graduating from Roma’s academy, where he was captain of the Primavera side, he developed at Sassuolo, under current Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco. The reputation he built there was enough to convince Roma to activate his buyback clause, and represented the completion of a dream for the hard-working youngster.

This season, we haven’t seen the pinnacle of Pellegrini yet, but he has made a decent start to his life back in Rome. So far, since his return, the number seven has shown flashes of quality. Whilst not always used, he has managed to keep knocking on the door of Di Francesco, determined to show why he should be selected.

Already familiar with his coach’s tactics, he has often looked like the midfielder most likely to create something for Roma. He is willing to get forward, but has also helped out off the ball, putting in some good challenges.

In December, he scored his first two goals for Roma; first against SPAL, and then against his former employers Sassuolo. These goals were the reward for a player who has been eager to prove himself at a big club at a young age. With the side not the most efficient in front of goal this season, they also symbolise great potential value to the team.

Perhaps Pellegrini hasn’t been outstanding so far, or hasn’t played a game for Roma where he was clearly a level above the rest. But he has shown signs that he can go on to become a major player for this side, and has plenty of time to develop. He has set himself some good foundations, and with Kevin Strootman out of form, a chance may present itself for Pellegrini to get some more starts when Serie A resumes.

Letting go of this future talent would be a poor decision from Roma, and it appears the club recognise this already. There have been talks of a new contract for the Roman, one with a much higher release clause than his present one of €25m. It would be deserved, and would fend off potential suitors.

In the future, Roma and Pellegrini could show themselves to be a match made in heaven. The club must make their best efforts to keep hold of the midfielder, and he will repay their faith in the long run.

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