There’s movement on the goalkeeper front, as reports from Turin’s Tuttosport (via SiamoLaRoma) and Rome’s La Reppublica (via TorinoGranata) open up this week with the story that Salvatore Sirigu’s future lies at Roma for the 2020-21 season. We normally take anything Tuttosport has to say with a pinch of salt, but when sources in both North and Central Italy start making noises on the radar, there’s generally no smoke without mercato fire.
Why The Sirigu Moves Makes Sense for Roma
We passed brief commentary last week, in our Roma player of the season piece when giving due praise to Chris Smalling’s season, that there was no Serie A backline that tried to cut out the danger earlier than Torino’s. Roma were a close second, but when it came to Lyanco and the boys in Granata, they collectively racked up the most interceptions in the league.
What else would you expect from a backline assembled by former Torino and Roma sporting director Gianluca Petrachi? That alone makes Sirigu’s transition to the Eternal City a seamless one, but then there’s his actual individual performance, too.
Sirigu’s Post-Shot Expected Goals / Shots on Target (it’s a mouthful but one of our new favorite advanced keeper metrics this year - basically ranking goalkeepers by their quality of saves) was the 5th best in Serie A last season.
In straightforward English: Sirigu had the 5th hardest goalkeeping job in the league, behind Torino’s aggressive backline that left open space for the Granata’s opponents to pick wide open angles against Sirigu whenever Torino got it wrong. Despite the high-risk job detail, Sirigu came out with flying colours as outperformed the amount of goals the average keeper would be expected to conceed by +4.0.
Only Lecce’s Gabriel, Brescia’s Jesse Joronen, Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma and Lazio’s Thomas Strakosha saved their respective teams more goals.
Sirigu ranked right behind them and, still in his early thirties, can be considered one of the best-suited transfer targets for Roma. It’s not just that the Italian keeper has racked up GK numbers in a mid-table team - which, by itself would say nothing about his value for Roma (read: Robin Olsen) - but that Sirigu is used to the dangers associated with Roma’s high-anticipation defensive style.