Rick Karsdorp’s time at AS Roma looked to have ended when, in November, Jose Mourinho made it clear that a player in his team had been told to find another club this winter. The Portuguese coach’s explosive comments after their draw at Sassuolo brought a lot of speculation, and Karsdorp was identified as the so-called traitor.
Despite all that has since happened, with Karsdorp leaving the capital before the final Serie A matchday ahead of the 2022 World Cup, it now seems as though peace could be made between the full-back and Mourinho.
In their recent friendly against LaLiga side Cadiz, Karsdorp started and played 45 minutes before being taken off at half time. The score was 1-0 to the Spaniards when he came off and Roma went on to lose 3-0.
La Gazzetta dello Sport have written positively about Karsdorp’s showing in the game, stating that he was tuned in and “not like a player whose head is elsewhere”, suggesting that he may still have a future at Roma. His involvement in the game, despite the loss, was seen as a positive.
Mourinho’s criticism of Karsdorp was based on the player’s supposed bad attitude.
Gazzetta added that a 45-minute appearance in a mid-season friendly is unlikely to spark a dramatic change for Karsdorp and Mourinho’s relationship at Roma, though his presence is of course more of a positive than his omission would have been.
Roma are in action again on December 19 against Casa Pia before a December 22 fixture against RKC Waalwijk. Karsdorp is expected to feature again in both games.
These mid-season matches could, then, present Karsdorp with a chance to prove Mourinho wrong and force his way back into the Portuguese’s plans at the Stadio Olimpico, should he want to stay in the Italian capital.