AS Roma narrowly failed to sign Brazilian winger Malcom in the summer. The player opted for FC Barcelona at the last minute. Roma’s sporting director, Monchi, says that Malcom may have done the Italians a favor, with Roma securing the transfer of Steven N’Zonzi instead.
Barcelona’s superior offer derails Malcom’s transfer
It would have taken merely a few hours for the 21 year old Malcom to become an AS Roma player. A deal had been agreed by all parties and the former Bordeaux and Corinthians player was set to put pen to paper and meet up with his new teammates.
However, the Serie A club was in for a late surprise. Barcelona made an under the wire bid for the player. Bordeaux accepted the superior €41 million offer for the winger, leaving Roma having to reconsider their options.
Roma sporting director, Monchi, recently took a shot at Malcom. The official says that the failed deal made the club determined to sign a better player. Steven N’Zonzi, former Sevilla midfielder, was signed for a €26.65 million fee. Given his level of skill and the fact that N’Zonzi was part of France’s recent World Cup winning squad, Monchi says the club made a terrific deal.
“What’s better than signing a World Cup winner? They are different roles, but for me Steven is better than Malcom. We have been impressed with Coric and Zaniolo. Very impressed. But clearly we have a lot of midfielders right now. A Serie A loan might be best for them.”
Is N’Zonzi a replacement for Malcom?
While there are some similarities between the two players, they ordinarily play in different positions. N’Zonzi is a central defender with defensive duties. Malcom is generally used as a right winger. Monchi says that while this is true, Roma have shown their strength in the transfer market by signing, what he believes, to be a superior player to Malcom.
“I said I would get a stronger player [than Malcom], but not necessarily in the same role,” Monchi told reporters at a news conference on Thursday. Doesn’t a world champion seem stronger than Malcom to you? For me Steven is better than Malcom.”
“We already have stronger players on our team. We have improved the team without thinking about the defined roles. Malcom was a possibility because he seemed strong, but we went ahead looking for both the same and the other players,” Monchi tells reporters of the club’s own Roma TV.
As fate would have it Malcom featured for Barcelona against AS Roma in their friendly encounter played in at the start of August. The winger even managed to score his first goal for the Catalans in a 4-2 victory.
AS Roma’s Serie A season begins on Sunday when they play away to Torino. Meanwhile, Barcelona begin their season by playing hosts to Alaves on Saturday evening. Malcom, a free FootballCoin player, is expected to start for the La Liga giants.