One of the great narratives in sport is when a player plays for and is ultimately a success with their hometown team. Of course, success is measured in a multitude of ways, with most people probably saying simply making it and debuting for the hometown team is enough to be a success story. I’m certainly inclined to agree but there’s just a bit more weight to it when the hometown team in question is Roma, a club that has become synonymous across the globe with its legends being from Rome. And whether it’s Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi, or Lorenzo Pellegrini, the bar has been raised to the point where the spotlight shines brightly on all the youngsters coming up who fit the bill.
Riccardo Calafiori is the perfect example of this. When the youngster made his debut as an 18-year-old against Juventus way back in August of 2020 (where did the time go?), winning a penalty and scoring a worldie that was disallowed, most Romanisti thought the Giallorossi would be set at the left-back position for years to come, and with a Roman no less! Sure, there’d be some growing pains, but the talent was clearly there.
Fast-forward to today and it quite hasn’t panned out as we all expected. Leonardo Spinazzola is still firmly entrenched as the starter, Matías Viña is more-or-less the back-up, and Calafiori himself had been banished to the Shadow Realm by José Mourinho following the Bodø debacle, ultimately moving to Genoa on loan in the January window.
With only three appearances for Genoa in an injury-plagued spell, neither Calafiori nor Roma received the returns they were looking to get from the move; a shame given Genoa certainly needed all hands on deck in their quest to stave off relegation last season. So where does that leave the youngster?
Well, according to Corriere dello Sport, Lecce may be next on the cards—with the club looking to bring in Calafiori on loan in advance of the 2022-2023 season. With a host of other clubs reportedly looking to bring him in, and with wages a bit of a stumbling block, the move may not pan out, but it would certainly give Calafiori the opportunity to get some consistent minutes in.
Is another loan spell the best move for Calafiori? Let us know what you think.