AS Roma have officially announced the signing of Steven N’Zonzi, who was also being targeted by Arsenal for a summer move, in a €30 million deal.
AS Roma have made an official statement to confirm that they have secured the services of Steven N’Zonzi on a four-year contract. The Giallorossi have agreed a deal worth up to €30 million with Sevilla for the French World Cup winner, who was also heavily linked with a move to Arsenal this summer.
N’Zonzi has been one of the hottest properties this summer, with the player reportedly eager to embark on a new challenge after three fruitful years with Sevilla. Several big name clubs have been linked with the Frenchman this summer, with Arsenal the most heavily linked suitor in his pursuit.
The Gunners were one of the busiest English clubs this summer, with Unai Emery looking to quickly imprint his ideology at the club. Midfield was unsurprisingly a priority area for the Arsenal boss, especially after Jack Wilshere was deemed surplus to requirements.
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) August 14, 2018
Upon the departure of the Arsenal academy graduate, the main aim was seemingly to add steel to midfield, which has duly been done by the arrivals of Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi. But, in N’Zonzi, Emery could have been looking at a familiar figure who could have eased the transition period.
That the Frenchman also has experience of Premier League football made him a viable target who could have settled in at Emirates quickly. However, with the summer transfer window slamming shut last week, Arsenal seemed to have lost their chance to land N’Zonzi this summer, which is exactly what has happened.
AS Roma had become the favourites to sign the 29-year-old, instead of Arsenal, before the August 17 deadline in Italy, and they have duly gone on to land the player. N’Zonzi, with his defensive acumen and distribution abilities could be as close to a replacement for Radja Nainggolan as possible for Eusebio Di Francesco.
With Daniele De Rossi nearing the end of his career as well, the former Arsenal target will help ease the burden on the AS Roma captain. And, upon signing a four-year deal at Stadio Olimpico, the player expressed his delight at joining the Giallorossi.
“I feel very happy to be here, and to be a new Roma player. I always want to improve – regardless of age, the most important thing is to give your best and work hard. I want to do that, to become a better player and help the team with my play and experience.”
Roma have shelled out an initial €26.65 million to land N’Zonzi with additional performance-related clauses worth up to €4 million. The Italian giants will hope he can continue his progression and add some much required steel in midfield.
Sevilla though, must move quickly to replace the former Arsenal target, with little over two weeks left for the transfer window to slam shut. For now, Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario seems to be their priority, and it remains to be seen if they can successfully replace the Frenchman.