AS Roma: the terrible humiliation of Renato Sanches worries PSG and Italy


By: Manu Tournoux

Where has Renato Sanches gone, this fabulous 18-year-old midfielder who made everyone agree during the 2016 European Championship won with Portugal? Substitute during the first four matches, he became a starter during the tournament, where he was crowned best young player ahead of Kingsley Coman and Raphaël Guerreiro. A few years later, these two footballers had a great career that lived up to the hopes placed in them. For Renato Sanches, unfortunately it’s a different story.

A year in Paris and then leaves

The former Benfica nugget joined Bayern Munich, who put 35 million euros on the table to get ahead of the competition. But in Germany, the player born in 97 didn’t really impress. Sent on loan to Swansea, he finally left the Bavarian team to join LOSC in 2019. A club where he managed to relaunch himself. Courted in Italy, he pushed to join PSG in the summer of 2022. There, he wanted to find Luis Campos and Christophe Galtier, with whom he had collaborated in the North. But his Parisian adventure is a real failure for the moment.

Injured five times, the player bought for around 15 million euros failed to shine when he had the chance to express himself on the pitch. Appearing 27 times, but only 8 times as a starter, he scored 2 goals (0 assists). Beyond being decisive, the level of play he displayed was not really exceptional. His misadventures in the capital also had consequences on his international career, since he was not selected to participate in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. At the bottom of the hole, Renato Sanches was able to count on an outstretched hand this summer. That of José Mourinho.

He experiences a new failure in Rome

Looking for reinforcement in midfield, the AS Roma coach tried for the former Benfica man. Arriving on August 16 in the form of a loan with an option to buy, the Portuguese wanted to relaunch a career which was slipping. But it’s a failure for the moment. Coming on for 20 minutes against Salernitana on August 20, he took up residence in the Roman infirmary four days later for three weeks due to a muscle injury. He continued at this pace once back, since he alternated between visits to the infirmary and a few appearances.

In total, he played 9 matches in all competitions with La Louve, including 3 as a starter (1 goal). The last one was yesterday. Entering the game in the 46th minute against Bologna, the Portuguese left 18 minutes later. A decision which completely surprised the main person concerned. José Mourinho, who apologized to him after the meeting, explained his choice. “I’m sorry, I want to apologize to Renato. I had to change a player like that three or four other times. I remember doing it with Matic at Chelsea but for other reasons.

Mourinho can’t help him

Sad for his player, the Special One has no regrets. “I hoped, after the sixty minutes played against the Sheriff, that Renato, with the adrenaline of the match, would be able to shake himself up and get rid of these emotional scars that condition him. He is a boy who is afraid of getting injured and who also works in training at very low intensities. I took a risk because in Bologna I needed his quality in the second half. But when I saw his rhythms, I intervened. He had risked being booked twice, I couldn’t leave him on the field.

This Monday, the Italian press inevitably mentions the Renato Sanches case. There Gazzetta dello Sportwho gave it a 5, wrote about it: “It hurts to see a player like him enter the field and leave a few minutes later. He has the running and intensity of a former player.” In its interior pages, the pink paper publication went further. “Naturally surprised by the coach’s decision, the former Paris Saint-Germain player then crossed the baseline with an expression that was anything but serene. Sanches has only played 228 minutes of the season so far across nine appearances, with one goal to his name. Ravaged by physical problems and constantly in search of optimal physical condition, it was certainly not a brilliant year for the 26-year-old who was this time pushed aside by Mourinho after just twenty minutes.

Return to sender?

For his part, the Corriere dello Sport goes a little further. “Renato Sanches becomes a case: divorce from Roma in January is possible“, titles the publication before adding: “reading the number 20 on the scoreboard, 18 minutes into the second half, we all thought it was a mistake. Or at least another injury (…) Renato Sanches looked at the bench in disbelief and spread his arms, inconsolable. It was true, Mourinho had replaced him after asking him to play the second half. An unpleasant surprise, as unusual as it is significant. The mystery deepens. Renato Sanches was loaned by PSG at the end of the transfer market. But after being defined as “a personal obsession” by general manager Tiago Pinto, he only played three games as a starter, including two against Sheriff.

The Italian media continues: “he then alternates unencouraging sessions with light workouts, stopping periodically at the first signs of muscle hardening. Faced with the results of the tests, which never revealed any particularly serious injuries, Renato Sanches reported pain which prevented him from working full time. It is for this reason that Mourinho used the expression “emotional scars”. There is a lot of psychology in the difficulties of this boy, who even in previous seasons had a tendency to worry too much about mundane evils. From now on, all scenarios are possible, even a divorce in January.” Very bad news for Paris, which is counting on its sale. Under contract until 2027, the Lusitanian midfielder, who earns 3.5 million plus bonuses, is a real thorn in the side of the Ile-de-France residents and the Romans, who are experiencing a new difficult situation after the failed loan of Wijnaldum last year. last.

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