As usual, all the transfer attention over the past few weeks in the Rome-based press has been around Chris Smalling.

However, the return of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, currently on loan from Arsenal, hasn’t gone unnoticed, coming off the bench against Hellas Verona at the weekend and scoring his team’s third in a 3-1 away win.

The attacking midfielder had missed the past seven league games due to a tear in his abductor muscle, but there were never any doubts down Roma’s end the Armenia international would come good, injury or not.

Corriere dello Sport explain that both Gianluca Petrachi or Paulo Fonseca decided loaning the injury prone veteran ‘was a risk worth taking, managing’ for a project they believe ‘goes beyond the first season’.

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The Italian newspaper go on to suggest it was always in their minds to make the move permanent in some shape or form after this season, which is why they didn’t bother to negotiate a clause in the loan deal.

As they say, ‘in June 2020, when he is 31, Mkhitaryan will be so close to the end of his contract that he will cost a reasonable amount’.

There’s little risk for Roma in this, as they know that if the loan between now and the rest of the season goes wrong, it’s ‘goodbye and thank you’, but if it goes well, they’ll be able to buy a Premier League player at ‘Belgian or Polish prices’.

We’re not sure why they use those specific examples, but, either way, they know Arsenal won’t ask for a lot to let the 30-year-old leave the Emirates in the summer, even with Unai Emery now sacked.