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Who is Everton goalkeeper target Robin Olsen?

We speak with Roma blog Chiesa Di Totti about the Swedish international

AS Roma v Cagliari Calcio - Serie A Photo by Silvia Lore/Getty Images

We hadn’t expected too much drama today on Deadline Day, with one possibly two more incoming players once Ben Godfrey was confirmed earlier today.

Moise Kean left on loan for PSG yesterday, with that in mind we’d thought that at least one striker/forward would come in. This became even more apparent when Theo Walcott edged closer to departure on loan to Southampton today while Bernard was linked with a move away too.

Meanwhile, Jordan Pickford’s latest error over the weekend got the transfer rumour mill cranking again though Carlo Ancelotti has continued to publicly back his #1. Earlier today we’d heard that the Blues had investigated loan moves for Claudio Gazzaniga (Tottenham Hotspur) or Sergio Romero (Manchester United), but the parent clubs in both cases wanted a permanent deal which the Toffees were not comfortable with.

Attention then shifted for the first time to AS Roma’s unsettled backups. Pau Lopez and Robin Olsen are both available for sale and as the day progressed, Paul Joyce confirmed the Blues were looking at the Sweden international as a loan target to challenge Pickford.

Olsen joined Roma in the summer of 2018 on a five-year deal, but one season after making 35 appearances for the Giallorossi, he was sent out on loan last season at Cagliari. We had a quick chat with the SB Nation Roma blog Chiesa Di Totti about Olsen, and what he would bring to Everton.

RBM - There had been some speculation around which goalie of Pau Lopez and Robin Olsen Everton were originally interested in - why are they both on the chopping block?
CDT - Well, of the two Olsen is and has been definitively on the chopping block for nearly 18 months now, while Lopez is currently in a state of limbo. But, to be honest, they’re both there for the same reason: they’re passive and error-prone keepers, both of whom lost their jobs to Antonio Mirante, who is really nothing more than a solid journeyman type of keeper.
Olsen cuts a much larger figure and uses his massive limbs/reach pretty well, but was just too slow off his line and not really quick enough in distribution, while Lopez is a bit of a sweeper keeper, though nothing on the order of Alisson Becker, but is equally passive and uncertain when coming off his line. Couple that with a few glaring errors in critical matches and you have Roma’s current predicament: two decidedly average keepers that have been incredibly difficult to offload.

RBM - Since then we have heard that Olsen is the target. The Swedish international has 35 appearances for Roma since joining in 2018, but was sent out on loan to Cagliari last season. Where has it all gone wrong for him?
CDT - Well, to be fair to him, his reputation is sort of stained in the eyes of many Roma fans because he was a Monchi purchase; he may be a hero to Sevilla but he definitely set Roma back several years with some of his transfer decisions, including Olsen. He started off well enough in 2018 and even got a cleansheet on his debut, but the wheels fell off almost immediately: he conceded 15 goals over his next six matches and finished with 58 goals conceded in 35 appearances in 2018-2019.
He really does use his massive frame to his advantage, but in the end, he’s just too passive and slow to suit Roma’s build-from-the-back approach.

RBM - What can you tell us about how Olsen plays the game? Is he a vocal leader between the sticks? How about his shotstopping and aerial ability?
CDT - As I mentioned, he is a massive, massive keeper but, at least based on advanced metrics, he’s decidedly middling when it comes to shot-stopping and even claiming crosses. It’s possible that he might find more success in a different league, but he wasn’t up to snuff in Serie A for some reason.
And leadership... eh, not so much in Rome; he struggled to communicate with Roma’s defenders, who were largely Italian, so perhaps if his English is stronger than his Italian he’ll have better luck.

RBM - There was some chatter about Bernard going the other way but with the Italian window now closed, that didn’t end up happening - what had you heard?
CDT - Not a whole lot, really. Roma’s move for Stephan El Shaarawy collapsed and Bernard played for Paulo Fonseca before, so it was a quick and fitting rumor replacement. He definitely likes the mobile forwards that can fulfill multiple roles, so I could see the sense of it, but it never came to fruition.

So there you have it Blues, right now this looks more and more like a panic buy than anything else unfortunately. Our thanks to Bren from Chiesa Di Totti for his time.