What a duo this was...

Where are they now? Jose Mourinho’s first 11 signings as Roma manager

Jose Mourinho’s return to Serie A with Roma couldn’t have gone any better, delivering the club their first major European title in his first season, before the wheels inevitably came flying off.

Returning to Italy in 2021 after a bizarre and mostly unloved spell at Tottenham felt like the career revival the ‘Special One’ needed and deserved. And for a while, it was exactly that.

Before it all went pear-shaped – again – in 2023-24,  Mourinho managed to make some pretty shrewd signings on a tight budget. We’ve taken a look at the first 11 players he signed for the Giallorossi and where they are now.

Marash Kumbulla

Is it even the start of a Mourinho era if he doesn’t kick things off by signing a defender? Kumbulla was technically his first player through the door in the summer of 2021, although he’d already spent the previous season in Rome on loan from Verona before Mourinho’s arrival.

Just a few weeks after Mourinho was sacked by Roma, Kumbulla moved to relegation-threatened Sassuolo on loan on 1 February 2024, having recovered from a cruciate ligament injury. He’s yet to start for the Neroverdi.

Roger Ibanez

Similarly to Kumbulla, Ibanez turned a loan move permanent in the summer of 2021 and featured 51 times in Mourinho’s first season, scoring four times.

The Brazilian was again a regular in 2022-23, but left for Saudi Arabia at the end of the season. Still only 25, he’s playing for Al-Ahly on what we can only assume is an eye-watering wage packet.

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every club that’s won the Serie A title?

Bryan Reynolds

The young, American full-back was another one signed on loan before Mourinho’s arrival on a deal with an obligation to buy in the summer of 2021. After just a year in Rome, however, Reynolds was sent out on loan to Belgian side Kortrijk.

Reynolds has found a home for himself in Belgium, making a season-long loan to Westerlo permanent in 2023. He’s currently been capped seven times by the USMNT.

Rui Patricio

After a couple of incredibly impressive seasons keeping guard for Wolves in the Premier League, Roma snapped up Patricio for just shy of £10million. Despite being 33, he enjoyed an exceptional first season with the club and proved a bargain, playing every minute in Serie A and missing one game in the Conference League.

However, his form quickly stagnated and by the time that Mourinho had reached his third season, Roma fans were desperate to see him taken out of the firing line. Now 36, Patricio is still at the club, but hasn’t started a league game since February and is out of contract this summer.

READ NEXT: Where are they now? Jose Mourinho’s 15 signings at Real Madrid

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every manager to win a title in Europe’s major leagues since 2000?

Eldor Shomurodov

Only the second footballer from Uzbekistan to play in Serie A, Shomurodov was signed from Genoa for a sizeable €17.5million plus bonuses, but scored just three goals all season and played a backup role for the most part in 2021-22.

It quickly became apparent that Shomurodov didn’t cut the mustard – despite never lacking effort – and he was loaned to Spezia in January 2023.

With Daniele De Rossi now in charge and Roma firing in goals for fun, it’s hard to see a world where he returns from his current loan spell at Cagliari and finds himself back among the squad.

Matias Vina

The Uruguayan utility man signed from Palmeiras shortly after Mourinho’s arrival and featured regularly in his first season, but fell out of favour in 2022-23 and would end up spending time on loan at Bournemouth and Sassuolo.

Vina returned to Brazil in Januar 2024 with Flamengo, having failed to make it stick in Europe. One to forget.

Tammy Abraham

Out of favour at Chelsea, Mourinho’s most high-profile signing was the £34million swoop of Tammy Abraham, who took to Serie A like a duck to water.

He finished with 27 goals across all competitions and an inaugural Europa Conference League to put the icing on the cake, but a difficult and inconsistent 2022-23 ended in a nightmare when he tore his ACL in the final league game of the season.

It’s been a long way back, but Abraham has just returned to the pitch and will be desperate for a second chance under De Rossi. We’re desperate for it, too. Redemption arc pending.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Maitland-Niles was out of favour at Arsenal and secured a mid-season loan switch to Roma in January in 2022, but made just eight Serie A appearances an a further three in the Conference League before leaving the club that summer.

After a tough few years, he appears to have found his feet in France after signing for Lyon on a free transfer last summer. They endured a nightmare start to the Ligue 1 season, but have since turned it around impressively.

Jose Mourinho Quiz 30 Questions Special One Man Utd Chelsea Real Madrid Inter Career Trophies

TRY A QUIZ: The Ultimate Jose Mourinho Quiz: 30 tricky questions to test your knowledge of the Special One

Sergio Oliveira

Another January loan signing, Oliveira made the perfect start to life in Rome, scoring on his debut against Cagliari.

The experienced midfielder was used somewhat regularly, but an option to buy wasn’t taken up and he joined Galatasaray in the summer of 2022, where he has remained since.

Nemanja Matic

Signing him for the third time in his coaching career, Mourinho and Matic reunited once again in the summer of 2022 when the Serbian left Manchester United upon the expiry of his contract.

As expected, he was a key player in Mourinho’s second season in Rome, making 50 appearances as they reached the Europa League final. Surprisingly, however, he left after just one season after initially agreeing to another year, signing for Rennes after a reported breakdown in his relationship with the boss.

Matic lasted half a season in Brittany before moving down south to sign for Lyon in January 2024. It’s all gone a bit pear-shaped for him in his later years.

Mile Svilar

Mourinho’s 11th signing as Roma boss was another goalkeeper, snapping up young Svilar from Benfica.

He’s had to be patient, but the Serbian is now first choice for the Giallorossi under De Rossi, displacing Patricio and doing a fine job of it. He saved two penalties in the Conference League play-off round against Feyenoord, despite Roma ultimately losing the game.

It’s been one hell of a ride since he became the youngest goalkeeper to play in the Champions League in 2017 – ironically against Mourinho’s United – but he now appears to have blossomed at Roma, who are set for years with the 24-year-old.