Taken off the transfer market, named in the squad list for the Europa League and applauded by his team-mates and supporters during Saturday’s friendly against San Lorenzo. So ended last week for Moustapha Seck, the 20 year old who is hoping to make his Serie A debut next weekend against Sampdoria.
The signs are there for his possible elevation by Spalletti. He is the only (fit) left back still in the squad and ever since the pre-season training camp at Pinzolo the Senegalese has made some big steps forward under defensive coach Baldini, who has worked closely with him one-on-one to improve his tactics and positioning.
From a technical and physical perspective, there wasn’t much left to improve. He was brought through the Barcelona youth system and then improved under the tutelage of Bollini and Inzaghi at Formello, where he spent three years that had their ups and downs.
The full back was expecting to be involved with the first team squad, but didn’t like certain things about Lotito’s demeanour. Sabatini seized the opportunity to speak with the player’s agent, as he was out of contract in June, and convinced Seck to sign a three year contract for Roma. And that is where he met Spalletti.
The coach has been impressed with the Senegalese’s progress, but agreed with the directors that he should be loaned out to Crotone. Then came Mario Rui’s injury (following a coming together with Seck himself) and the multiple errors from Emerson Palmieri. As a result, Sabatini took him off the transfer market with 48 hours of the window left while Spalletti decided to add him to the squad list for the Europa League.
With De Rossi now set for a spell on the sidelines both in the league (because of injury) and the Europa League (because of his 3-match ban), Luciano could decide to put the idea of a 3-man defence to one side and continue with the 4-2-3-1 with Seck on the left, bringing Peres back to the right hand side and playing Florenzi further forward.
The match against San Lorenzo allowed other youngsters to be put into the spotlight (De Santis, Keba, Grossi and Soleri) who could all be useful during the packed schedule of 7 games in 21 days that now awaits Roma: this begins with Samp on Sunday, the trip to Viktoria Plzen on the 15th, then Fiorentina on the 18th, Crotone at home 3 days later before Torino, Astra Giurgiu and Inter (2nd October).
They, together with Marchizza (called up for the Under 19s), are the only ones left from the side that won the scudetto for the Primavera in June. The others have all (perhaps hastily) been sent elsewhere for experience, including Capradossi, D’Urso, Sadiq, Ponce, Vasco and Di Livio. The one who wants to have more of an opportunity is Alisson, who said “I’ve spent the last 2 games on the bench, but I’m not worrying.”
This article is a translation – the original was written by Francesco Balzani for Leggo.