Roma drops the wild card: a year of contract for Mertens the quick-change guy

The Belgian, released from Napoli, was offered to the Giallorossi. He can form a super couple with Abraham

The feeling between the Mertens family and Rome has ancient roots. Naples, after all, is not so far away, so in some free days the couple formed by Dries and Katrin has sometimes been spotted on the banks of the Tiber. Footballers like many, families like many, even if they probably never imagined that the capital could become their new garden. The trajectories of the ball, however, are unpredictable. For this reason, after becoming the most prolific scorer in the history of Napoli with 148 goals in 397 games, the Belgian player hoped to end his career among the Neapolitans. Instead, his expiring contract led to an uphill negotiation, as the gap between supply and demand immediately appeared much greater than expected.

Giallorossi idea

Thus the Mertens agents began to do their job, without breaking relations with Aurelio De Laurentiis’ company. It goes without saying that Roma – as well as Lazio of the former maestro Sarri – was a first choice, given that the value of the Giallorossi club – also by virtue of the impact given by José Mourinho – is growing exponentially, thanks also to the conquest of the Conference League. However, it is obvious that in Trigoria we want to evaluate a choice of this kind well. The value of Mertens is not in question, but it is the 35 years of age that arouse perplexity. Be careful, however, because the identity card could paradoxically also represent an advantage. In the presence of a physically healthy player, in fact, the Special One could have a targeted management, which gives a showcase to the Belgian in the moments that really matter, or when it is necessary to mix the games in difficult races.

A super wild card

In short, Mertens could be an extraordinary wild card, capable of giving Roma that offensive prolificacy that was guaranteed by Abraham alone last season. It is no coincidence that in several home matches against lower-level teams it happened that the Giallorossi suffered against closed defenses. Here, in this sense Dries could be a formidable picklock to unlock difficult races. Moral: the feeling is that the arrival of Matic (safe) and that of Mertens (possible) are increasingly defining an “instant team” Rome, that is, full of expert players who can immediately make a difference, supporting at the same time the growth of young people.

Contract

It is logical, however, that the contract will also need to be discussed carefully. In fact, it seems that Mertens’ agents have significantly lowered the claims compared to the 2.6 million (per year) plus 1.4 signing bonuses on which they had set up the negotiations with Napoli. However, it is unlikely that the Belgian could drop below an overall wage of 3.5 million, unless the option for a possible second year has clauses that make the extension easier for Mertens.

Shoulder Abraham

In any case, the decisions will be made no earlier than next week, when GM Pinto, now on vacation, will return to Rome to get to the heart of the market. One thing is certain: it has been seen that Abraham in many situations needs to have another high-level offensive terminal alongside. And Mertens, who is able to be used on the entire attack front, could also play behind the English center-forward in certain contexts, should Mourinho decide to return to his favorite 4-2-3-1. Feelings? Confirmation of the strangeness of life. If before Mertens came to Rome only as a tourist, who knows that the future will not bring him back to Naples only in this capacity.

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