Narrating Roma's Recession Through Burdisso

With the news that Burdisso already has/is right this second/will soon sign for Roma, the club finally has the backup central defender it always needed, only 53 days after the transfer period started, and with a full day to spare before the league season kicks off.

Burdisso is a useful tool to map the acute recession of AS Roma over the past twelve to thirteen months: one summer ago I would be likely be very against signing Burdisso. I've often found him a liability, as he's made some eye catching mistakes at his own team's expense since coming to serie A. He's temperamental, and while it will certainly be intriguing watching him and Mexès become the nastiest and fiercest central defense in the league, it has spectacular potential for amazing meltdowns as well. (Somewhere, Tommaso Rocchi just felt a chill down his spine and people present in his company swore his eyes spoke of fear.)

Although, one particularly dumb myth surrounding Burdisso should be thrown under a bus right now: that no club with aspirations of taking the fourth CL spot can have him in their team, as if he alone would diminish everything and tear down the walls all by his lonesome. This is nonsense. Burdisso played just above twenty games in serie A during all of his years in Inter, and we're all familiar with that club winning three straight league titles. He's not coming to Roma as a starter, and is looking to play the same role (perhaps added on with some half dozen games depending on Juan's body holding up or not)--if it was good enough for Inter to win three scudetti, it's good enough for a CL contender.
In the current climate of unmitigated disasters in Roma's defense, Burdisso is a good move. He's not going to be a starter when both Juan and Mexès are available (and if he is, it's either a sign of the coming apocalypse or Roma winning the CL despite not entering the competition. Be afraid either way.), but he takes Roma back some way to the old tried and tested plan of having three defenders all good enough to start. The jump in quality from Mexès and Juan to Andreolli would have been too big, even if the latter had the mental fortitude needed in a professional athlete (which he probably doesn't). And the thought of seeing Riise or Cassetti in central defense is a serious threat to my appreciation of the sport itself.

So right now, Burdisso and the very small financial commitment needed to take him is as good as anything Roma could hope for. But it's also a clear water mark on how the club has been forced to re-negotiate with itself its stature and hopes and goals, as one or two years ago, Burdisso surely wouldn't have been treated as an as good signing.