Roma continues to be linked with a variety of moves to reinforce the midfield as the January transfer period approaches, but up to the present, have ignored a name that would be perfectly suited for Rudi Garcia‘s side.
Connected to Tottenham, to whom the Giallorossi sold Erik Lamela for a lavish price this summer, via technical director Franco Baldini, the capital club has been tipped to table an offer for Sandro, though such a deal would have to wait until June due to the Brazilian’s non-EU status. And as the winter window looms just over a month in the future, with Roma keen to reinforce a squad in position to make a run for the Serie A title, it is a different Spurs man, Mousa Dembele, that the league leaders should be queuing up a bid for.
The 26 year old has indeed been paired with a switch to the Italian top flight from his current London environs, but to Roma’s southern rival, Napoli, and it’s time the Roma management join in the race to accomplish the dual goal of strengthening the squad and denying a Scudetto competitor a gifted addition.
Dembele’s versatility and athleticism are what make him such an enticing prospect in the center of the park at the Stadio Olimpico, where he would link up with the talented trio of Miralem Pjanic, Daniele De Rossi and Kevin Strootman at the heart of Garcia’s 4-3-3 formation.
Though the French tactician’s starters are already cemented in midfield and have indeed proved prolific together, as the table-toppers have gone undefeated through 12 games, the long season will undoubtedly see the triumvirate split up by injuries and suspensions at times, requiring adequate cover.
The Belgium international boasts a broad array of skills both ends of the pitch, all of which perfectly suit the defense-conscious brand of possession football Roma plays.
A powerful presence that excels equally in both the tackle and on the ball, Dembele brings a distinct balance to the table, as he possesses the intelligence to read the game defensively, as well as the vision to serve incisive passes to his teammates going forward.
To boot, the former Fulham man is a brilliant dribbler with a penchant for securely carrying the ball out of defence to launch attacks for his side, and is a strong aerial threat as well to complement his abilities on the ground.
His broad array of talents suggest he would be competent stepping in for any one of Pjanic, De Rossi or Strootman without compromising the equilibrium of Roma’s midfield, and, of course, would additionally provide both steel and an offensive threat coming off of the bench.
The season will be long and test the Giallorossi’s resolve as complicating factors in the title race come into play, and Dembele has the necessary qualities to be the extra man that makes the decisive difference between a true contender and a team lacking the requisite depth to back up a superb starting midfield three.
Dembele would come at a price, as Tottenham will certainly be unwilling to take a loss on a player that was acquired for £15 million just over a year ago, but in the modern club soccer economy, such is hardly new or unexpected.
If Roma’s American owners are truly as ambitious as claimed, a move for the 26 year old would be ideal and send a strong message to the rest of Serie A that the capital outfit truly intends to still be sitting in first place in the standings come the end of the campaign.
With a bigger squad needed to compete in Europe down the road, casting an eye towards the future, Dembele would be a wise investment that could continue to pay dividends for years to come for the Italian giants.