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Does AS Roma need to purchase a new goalkeeper?

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Rebounding from a year when the club yet again failed to reclaim the Serie A title from Juventus, Roma will no doubt look to better their northern rivals during the upcoming season. 

One of the capital club’s biggest strengths is its depth. The Romans have a well-stocked midfield at present with vice-captain Danielle De Rossi leading a group that includes Radja Nainggolan, Kevin Strootman, Miralem Pjanic, Alessandro Florenzi and Seydou Keita among others. Further up the pitch, living legend Francesco Totti is supported by the likes of Gervinho and Adem Ljajic as well as bounce-back candidates Juan Iturbe and Seydou Doumbia. 

While Roma is blessed with depth in the midfield and in attack, and has a solid defense, one area where they are seemingly looking to improve is in goal. 

The old adage that “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” comes into play here. 

The Giallorossi was linked to both Iker Casillas and Mat Ryan as well as Stoke keeper Asmir Begovic. There new target seems to be Sampdoria’s Sergio Romero. 

But is Roma in need of an upgrade?

The reality is that the club might be. Morgan De Sanctis led the club to a second-place Serie A finish, but the team was unable to overcome the Bianconeri. Roma also failed to make inroads in the Champions League and was relegated to the Europa League before being embarrassed by Fiorentina in the round of 16. 

The Giallorossi needs help. 

The Incumbents 

Morgan De Sanctis finished last season with a respectable 6.73 player rating in Serie A last year, but only a 5.91 number in the Champions League. In addition, he posted nine different games with a rating below six. Gianluigi Buffon, his comparable in many ways, only posted two games of that nature. 

To top it all off, De Sanctis allowed Bayern to put seven by him and the rest of the Roma defense in Rome. Bayern is a fantastically talented and clinical team, but seven conceded goals at the Stadio Olimpico?

De Sanctis isn’t getting any younger either. The veteran is 38, and his backup isn’t a spring chicken either. Romanian shot-stopper Bogdan Lobont is a year De Sanctis’ junior at 37-years-old. De Sanctis and Lobont are the only ‘keepers on Roma’s books. The club should be looking for a long-term replacement, at the very least, who they could loan out. 

The team may have found the long-term replacement that was needed for their two veterans in Lukasz Skorupski, however the 24-year-old struggled, losing three home games this past season by a combined score of 7-1 to Fiorentina (twice) and Palermo. Skorupski was recently farmed out to Empoli on a two-year loan deal. 

The Verdict

If anything, Roma’s decision to loan out Skorupski means the club will make some kind of move in the goalkeeping department. The team has already missed out on Casillas, Ryan and Begovic, so the Giallorossi will need to move fast if the team hopes to bring in Romero. The Argentine ‘keeper represented his country at last summer’s World Cup and this summer’s Copa America. Romero isn’t a regular for Sampdoria, so the transfer fee shouldn’t be too high. Regardless, Roma needs a new goalkeeper. Whether it’s Romero, or someone else of his ilk, the club needs new blood between the sticks. De Sanctis and Lobont are solid players, but both are getting up there in age. Neither seem to be on the same age-defying trajectory as Buffon, so a new, younger addition would help. If Roma can sign a goalkeeper like Romero, it may be the difference in breaking through not only in Serie A, but in the Champions League as well. 

All stats courtesy of http://www.whoscored.com/ unless otherwise noted.

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