Arsenal-linked loanee would be stupid to return to parent club, says president

Sent to Sampdoria last summer to get first team football under his belt, Alessio Romagnoli has blossomed in Genoa.

Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero told Radio Centro Suono Sport it would be unwise for Alessio Romagnoli to return to Roma, but admits it is out of his hands.

The centre-back first came to the attention of the wider football world when scoring the winner for Roma against Genoa in March 2013, in just his first Serie A start.

Romagnoli made only his second, and final, appearance of the 2012-13 campaign that night, however he would see increased opportunities last term under Rudi Garcia.

Spending time at left-back due to an injury crisis in the Giallorossi ranks, Romagnoli saw over 700 minutes of top flight football and performed well in an unnatural role.

Sky Sport Italia transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio reported in March 2014 that Manchester United scouts sent to watch Mehdi Benatia were so impressed by the youngster they instead enquired after Romagnoli.

Seemingly there was no further movement on the United front as Roma saw fit to ensure their academy product’s continued development in the summer.

The 20-year-old was sent out on loan to Sampdoria, with whom Romagnoli quickly gained a starting spot, becoming a key cog in Sinisa Mihajlovic’s overachieving Blucerchiati side.

An athletic central defender who reads the game well and is deceptively effective in the air, Romagnoli has anchored the fourth-best defence in Serie A, with Sampdoria challenging for a European place.

Romagnoli has averaged 1.5 tackles, 2.1 interceptions and 6.4 clearances per match this term, adding a goal and two assists on the attacking side of the game.

Always keen to pick out the top emerging youngsters around the continent, Romagnoli has caught the eye of Arsene Wenger and Arsenal, per La Repubblica.

Roma, however, are likely to recall Romagnoli to home base come summer, given that he has come on leaps and bounds in Liguria and the Giallorossi don’t appear interested in signing Davide Astori permanently.

But Sampdoria supremo Ferrero is of the opinion that jumping back to the Stadio Olimpico would be a mistake on Romagnoli’s part.

Ferrero told Radio Centro Suono Sport: “If Romagnoli goes back to Roma, it’ll be a stupid decision. He’s happy here and working well.

“Unfortunately, Sampdoria do not own his contract. We’ll decide what to do in June.”

Ferrero is of course known as one of the more colourful characters in Italian football, as evidenced by his words, but it would be a shock to see him have his way in this situation.

As the Rome native concedes, Romagnoli’s future is out of his hands – only if Roma decide the defender is not yet ready for the bright lights of the Eternal City will Sampdoria have the chance to keep him.

Yet the time appears right to bring Romagnoli back into the Giallorossi fold, and as such Sampdoria - as well as Arsenal, for that matter – appear out of luck.

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch