For most of the winter transfer season we have focused on potential inbound transfers from Roma. With the club in the throes of a six-way fight for Italy’s final European places and in need of some very specific pieces, it made sense to focus our efforts on potential Roma additions rather than those who might leave the capital. We jumped on that last week when Roma finally arranged a short-term loan for Arsenal public service man Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who made his debut last weekend in the Roma’s unfortunate loss to Juventus, but now it’s time to focus on the outgoing part of Tiago Pinto’s import / export business.
Much has been said about the caps for José Mourinho’s squad in their first six months as Roma coach, and as some players have spent the entire season in difficult limbo (playing a week and riding the pin for the next handful of matches), The Special One’s Doghouse was the exclusive home of two of last season’s surprise contributors: midfielder Gonzalo Villar and striker Borja Mayoral.
Villar, a relatively unknown Roma ripped from Elche in Spain’s Segunda in the summer of 2019, quickly became a mainstay of Paulo Fonseca last season, making 47 appearances in all competitions. While the back of his Panini card wasn’t exactly crammed with stats, the midfielder atop the mop impressed Giallorossi fans with his poise and tight control, proving his mettle in the Serie A midfield at only 22 years old.
Mayoral, meanwhile, arrived in the Eternal City in the summer of 2020 on a two-year loan from real Madrid. While playing second fiddle to Edin Dzeko last season, the then 23-year-old made the most of his opportunities, scoring 17 goals in around 2,100 minutes in all competitions.
Neither player was exactly a global star in the making, but as young players learning the ropes in a new league, they more than stuck it out and looked set to step up their respective roles in 2021-2022. However, for reasons unknown, Mourinho simply never warmed up with either player, with the two young Spaniards having combined just 441 minutes this season.
Given all of this, today’s news is hardly surprising. According to Sky Sport, Getafe, who are knee-deep in a relegation fight with Elche, Deportivo Alaves and Cadiz, are set to add Villar on a six-month dry loan, while Mayoral will essentially move to Getafe under the same conditions under which Roma acquired it: a loan with option to buy, estimated at around 10 to 15 million euros.
Considering how quickly the Roma are trying to do their winter transfer business, we will try not to read too much into the Vilar loan – they could very well have gone for the dry loan out of opportunism, much like they did. ‘did with Maitland-Niles – but the lack of a buyout clause could suggest Mourinho is ready to give him an extended look over the summer.
There is no such hope for Mayoral, who was due to return to Real Madrid after this season anyway. While Roma have a € 20million option on their contract, having lost over € 60million to Tammy Abraham and Eldor Shomurodov last summer, Mayoral’s days in Rome were still numbered.
We will pass on updates as they become available, but for Villar fans, keep the faith and hope Mourinho gives the child another chance this summer.