Serie A club, AS Roma finished the 2016/17 season as runners-up behind eventual champions Juventus, who claimed a sixth successive Scudetto title.
The season was notable for been club legend Francesco Totti’s last, as he confirmed his retirement from football after spending his entire career at his boyhood club, ensuring one of football’s last ‘One club’ men had hung his boots.
It was expected that following Edin Dzeko’s feat last season, where he won the Capocannoniere award finishing as the league’s top scorer with 29 goals, the club would improve the playing squad to push for a title challenge this coming campaign.
Alas, that entire dream seems to have been blown up in the air even before the commencement of the season. The departure of erstwhile manager Luciano Spalletti to Inter Milan, paved way for the arrival of Eusebio Di Francesco, who must now be overwhelmed at the amount of work that has to be done in the board room, to prevent his team from further being depleted.
Roma faithful’s were still yet to fully understand and forgive the club for selling prized jewel, Miralem Pjanic, to rivals Juventus at the start of last season. Bizarrely, following the retirement of Totti, AS Roma have failed to fill the legend’s void but have rather embarked on a selling spree to deplete a lightweight squad.
Mohamed Salah, the clubs best player over the last two seasons was sold to Liverpool for £34.3million. Defensive stalwart, Antonio Rudiger also followed suit, putting pen-to-paper for Chelsea on Sunday. Added to that, the transfer rumour mill is intense with speculations that Radja Nainggolan is the subject of a transfer bid from Chelsea, and the club might appear helpless in preventing the hard-working Belgian midfielder from swapping Rome for London.
Wojciech Szczensy, on-loan from Arsenal for the past two seasons, has returned to his parent club following the expiration of the temporary deal, and as expected Roma failed to exercise their option on making it a permanent transfer, despite the cash flow from player’s sale.
Di Francesco recently stated his desire to strengthen the squad with five additional signings comprising, one left back, one central defender, one centre forward and two wingers.
Maxime Gonalons has arrived from Olympique Lyon, joining a fairly decent midfield that already parades Daniele De Rossi, Kevin Strootman, and Nainggolan. In attack, young Nigerian Umar Sadiq might be given an opportunity to back-up Dzeko, after auditioning at last year’s summer Olympics football event.
Roma must ensure they replace Salah in the wide area, considering the duo of Alessandro Florenzi and Stephan El Shaarawy both lacks the consistence, and abilities to replace the highly rated Pharaoh. Failure to strengthen the squad and further sanctioning sale of players, will ultimately lead to a rather frustrating season for the Giallorossi.
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