Paris Saint-Germain’s midfield dynamo Renato Sanches has embarked on a new chapter in his career, joining AS Roma on loan for the 2023-24 season, with the tantalizing prospect of an obligatory purchase resting on certain conditions. The stage is set for Sanches to rewrite his narrative under the gaze of the Roman Colosseum.
Following a season that fell short of expectations at the Parc des Princes, Sanches leaves Paris to seek new horizons in the historic confines of Stadio Olimpico. His debut year under Christophe Galtier was a far cry from his triumphant Ligue 1 days with Lille, where Galtier once stood as his guiding light.
The echoes of Sanches’ victory as a Ligue 1 title holder with Les Dogues in the 2020-21 season linger in the backdrop, yet his journey has been marred by the relentless company of injuries. In his time with PSG, Sanches managed to find the net twice in 27 appearances last season. However, the puzzle of success eluded him, with a mere six league starts and a lone Champions League appearance, a picture starkly contrasting his time on the field for Marco Verratti, Vitinha, and Fabian Ruiz.
This Roma adventure comes at a cost of €1 million (£860,000) for the loan duration, but the intrigue deepens as an obligation to buy stands at €15 million (£12.9 million), triggered if Sanches participates in 60% of the team’s matches this term.
In a heartfelt statement, Sanches shared his excitement, saying, “I’m so happy to have joined this huge club. The Roma project really won me over and I feel that playing here is the right choice for me. It’s so important for any player to feel the support of the fans. For me on my first day, the impact that I felt helped me understand how much these supporters love the team and that can only drive me forward to give my all to achieve success here.”
The trajectory of Sanches’ career once held the promise of greatness. Bursting onto the scene with Benfica and Portugal, he clinched the Euro 2016 championship at the tender age of 18. Yet, his path meandered, taking him to Bayern Munich, where the allure of the Allianz Arena couldn’t propel him to the forefront. An unfulfilled loan stint with Swansea City in the 2017-18 season added another layer to his journey of self-discovery.
His arrival at Roma coincides with the return of his PSG comrade Leandro Paredes, now gracing the Stadio Olimpico in a permanent role. Sanches’ addition joins a chorus of new names in Jose Mourinho’s ensemble, including Evan Ndicka, Houssem Aouar, and Rasmus Kristensen, casting an aura of anticipation for the season ahead.
Tiago Pinto, Roma’s general manager, shared his excitement about Sanches’ inclusion, stating, “Renato Sanches is a player that we’ve been following for a long time. Despite that, he’s still a young player and he’s developed the habit of achieving success in every competition, both at club and international level. Renato has the technical and physical qualities that should see him slot seamlessly into our midfield, making it even more competitive.”