Leonard Spinazzola, who had been one of the breakout stars of Euro 2020, saw his tournament end in heartbreaking fashion on Friday, with an injury forcing him off 15 minutes from time in Italy’s 2-1 quarterfinal victory over Belgium. The injury has since been confirmed as a torn Achilles, which is just about the worst possible news (on par with a torn ACL).
Spinazzola is set to undergo surgery on Monday, and is expected to be out for about six months. Given the lengthy recovery we’ve seen over the past couple years with Callum Hudson-Odoi and, especially, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who may never be the same again, that seems like an optimistic prognosis, though Axel Witsel recovered well enough from his Achilles surgery in January to miraculously play at the Euros, so perhaps he optimism is not unwarranted.
Either way, Roma will need a new left back for next season, and several names have been floated by various media reports already. Unsurprisingly, two of those names are Marcos Alonso and Emerson, though according to Sky Italia and Gazzetta dello Sport (via Football Italia) neither is the leading candidate. Fiorentina’s Claudio Biraghi is the most likely arrival instead, though Gazzetta claim that a subsidized loan for Marcos Alonso is not out of the question. Emerson seems further down the wishlist, even if he is set to replace Spinazzola for Italy when they take on Spain in the semifinal on Tuesday.
With Chelsea set to begin preseason this week, Alonso should be among the first group of players reporting back. He has two years left on his contract, and proved last season that as a backup wing-back, he can still get the job done. On the other hand, Emerson has just one year left on his contract, so finding a solution to his situation is of a higher priority.