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Can AS Roma afford to lose De Rossi?

It’s official, Daniele De Rossi is set to leave AS Roma this summer, with contract talks between the two parties having ended without an agreement. De Rossi has been an important member of the squad since the early 2000s and was named Roma captain in 2017 following the retirement of club legend Francesco Totti.

With his departure impending, it could be the case that De Rossi retires from football and takes up a coaching role at the club. In Serie A betting, Roma are facing an uphill battle to finish in the top four, and the question has to be asked – can Roma afford to lose such a talented midfielder and leader on the pitch?

Rare loyalty

In an age where players have more power than ever before and force a transfer away from a club in order to play at a higher level or earn more money, De Rossi offers a refreshing sense of loyalty. The defensive midfielder joined Roma from Ostia Mare when he was 16 and it took only a couple of years for him to become a more prominent member of the squad.

Although he is regarded as one of the best midfielders of his generation, he has only won three trophies with Roma. He was part of the Roma team that won two consecutive Coppa Italias in 2007 and 2008 as well as winning the Supercoppa Italiana in 2007.

De Rossi’s lack of trophies with Roma hasn’t resulted in him seeking a move elsewhere for a more impressive trophy cabinet. What De Rossi has done instead is remain loyal to the club, regardless of their position in the league and whether they’re playing continental football or not. Such loyalty should be applauded, especially when modern footballers are showing less and less loyalty to clubs that have made them who they are.

The next manager?

There has been a lot of speculation as to who will be the next manager of I Giallorossi. Although Claudio Ranieri is the current manager, when he joined in March, it was only on a short-term deal until the end of the season.

Several familiar names have been linked with the job, including former Juventus and Chelsea boss Antonio Conte and former Napoli and current Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri. Although not considered to be one of the favourites, De Rossi himself has been linked with the role and that is despite having no managerial or even coaching experience.

Given his current role within the club, he’d certainly work well as a motivational manager, but whether his tactical knowledge would be better than Conte’s, Sarri’s and Ranieri’s is currently unknown. A more sensible move for the midfielder, should he retire this season, would be to move into coaching as speculated and learn from whoever takes over as manager.

2019/20 squad

Whatever happens in the remaining Serie A games, the next Roma manager will need to improve the squad. After losing Alisson, Radja Nainggolan and Kevin Strootman last summer, the club needed to rebuild the squad.

Then-manager Eusebio Di Francesco replaced Alisson with Swedish goalkeeper Robin Olsen, but he has failed to produce performances worthy of playing in the Champions League. Javier Pastore and Steven Nzonzi joined from Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla respectively as replacements for Nainggolan and Strootman, but haven’t proven to be an improvement.

With each passing day, it seems obvious just how much De Rossi will be missed by the club. With some disappointing transfers last summer, losing one of their stars who also happens to be their leader will seriously affect them next season. If they harbour ambitions of challenging for the Serie A title, they’ll need investment in order to replace their captain.

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