Portuguese connection was key to signing Sergio Oliveira

Although his career has featured several temporary loan spells, midfielder Sergio Oliveira has already started to establish himself at Roma after moving to the club last month.

It took very little time for the Portugal international to start proving his worth in the Italian capital, proving from the start that he was exactly the type of player the Giallorossi needed.

Anxious to help the Roma to progress

Ainsley Maitland-Niles was the first loan signing of the January window, closely followed by the arrival of Sergio Oliveira, when his arrival was confirmed by Roma’s official website on January 12. “It’s amazing to be here at this great club,” the 29-year-old midfielder enthused, after signing a first loan deal until June 30, 2022. That includes an option for the Giallorossi from make the transfer permanent from Porto for €13.5 million.

Oliveira immediately repaid his new club’s confidence, producing a man-of-the-match performance and the winning goal on his debut as Roma won 1-0 against Cagliari. This was followed by an excellent display in the 3-1 Coppa Italia win over Lecce and then an outstanding individual display of his ability in the 4-2 win at Empoli, contributing a goal and an assist to another man from the match exit.

2⃣ in 2⃣ in Serie A… ⚽️ Sergio Oliveira had an impact 𝙞𝙣𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙣𝙩! #ASRoma https://t.co/4SSdFBOS0V

Clearly enjoying his football and relishing the opportunity, Oliveira highlighted what brought him to the club in the first place. “I followed Roma for Pinto and Mourinho,” he explained of the Portuguese influence in the Italian capital, which inevitably contributed to the decision to leave Porto and move to Roma. “The team can achieve big goals, but you have to take it one step at a time,” he warned regardless of the positive results after his arrival.

“I wanted a change after having a great campaign last season,” Oliveira stressed of his decision to leave Porto. “I want to stay here for a long time and prove my worth,” he said, keen to lock in a long-term move to Roma once the season is over.

Given his performance levels so far, it’s hard to imagine the club passing up the opportunity to achieve this, for what could easily be seen as a relatively bargain fee.

Challenge of the four principals or reconstruction in progress?

Scouring the Serie A markets available at many top bookmakers, Roma could struggle to fulfill their ambitions of a top four finish, with odds between 9am and 1pm at the end of January. Given the variance, using a reliable list of the best betting sites is always worthwhile, which is why SBO has produced a comprehensive guide to the most reputable online bookmakers. This covers everything in detail, from sites offering withdrawal options to those with the most reliable mobile betting platforms.

Many tipsters are actually hesitant about how Roma will fare, between the end of the January transfer window and the end of the 2021-22 campaign. After getting off to a good start and winning their first three games of the season, form and results have been largely inconsistent, despite heavy spending after Mourinho’s arrival last summer. Just under €100m have been invested in six players, amid challenging expectations for the top four.

Several notable senior players also left, including Edin Dzeko to Inter and Pedro to Lazio, while Juan Jesus left for Napoli and Javier Pastore concluded his disappointing stay at the club. After such a period of upheaval within the squad, it’s fair to say that the 2021-22 season was always going to be seen as a period of transition, albeit with certain expectations attached to Mourinho’s appointment.

The team have so far failed in the first half of a stop-start campaign, unable to muster a string of meaningful results that might otherwise inspire greater confidence. Roma are far behind Inter, Napoli and AC Milan in the top three, although their recent improvement in form gives plenty of reason for hope. If they can close the slim gap on Atalanta and Juventus, there will be a tense battle for fourth place and Champions League football.