By Edward Stratmann.
AS Roma's capture of William Vainqueur on the summer transfer window's deadline day was a fascinating one.

Having come up through the Nantes youth academy, which he joined in 2002, he subsequently went on to make his Ligue 1 debut for the club in 2006. Vainqueur quickly established himself as a key player for The Canaries, but after 92 appearances spanning a five year period, he felt it was time to move on.

Standard Liege jumped at the chance to sign the imposing midfielder and duly secured his services in August 2011, paying just a €1.7 million transfer fee and handing him a five year contract. His time in Belgium was unquestionably a success, with his imposing performances in the middle of the park ensuring he was a mainstay of a talented Liege side at the time that featured the likes of Michy Batshuayi, Imoh Ezekiel and Paul-Jose M'Poku, now of Chievo Verona.

Winning the 2013-14 UGH Ecarlate trophy, the club's Player of the Year award voted for by their fans, suitably demonstrated his quality and worth to the side.

Enzo Scifo, the former Belgian football legend who featured in a staggering four World Cups and played for the likes of Anderlecht, Monaco, Auxerre, Inter Milan and Torino, lavished praise on Vainqueur during his time in Belgium. "If you look at key players with our top clubs, there's only one that jumps to my mind: William Vainqueur," he gleamed.

"He's mainly deployed in a defensive role at midfield, but it's a waste he's not used more on the offensive side of the ball. With his athletic abilities Vainqueur is a master at penetrating defensive lines and searching for open spaces. Besides that, he's got very strong technical qualities."

Another move arrived for him in 2014 when, after three years of excellent service to Liege, the lure of Dynamo Moscow proved irresistible, as he joined the Russian powerhouse for a hefty €6 million fee.

Vainqueur didn't disappoint here either, with the former French U21 international immediately impressing at his new club, showcasing yet again his incredible ability to adapt rapidly to new environments and thrive without a prolonged period of integration.

42 appearances later, and with Rudi Garcia keen to bolster his midfield, predominantly due to Kevin Strootman's horrific run with injury, the French tactician opted to bring in Vainqueur, who he'd come across previously when managing in Ligue 1.

Costing just €3 million, Vainqueur was a real bargain, especially considering he's a man who entered the club with 24 Europa League appearances, with Standard and Dynamo, and has a wealth of experience in a variety of leagues.

Upon speaking to the club's official website after signing, the Franco-Haitian midfielders eagerness to get stuck in was instantly evident. "I'm here because Roma are a big club and Rome is a splendid city," he stated.

"I will give everything for this shirt, which is very important. I've been told a lot about the Giallorossi fans -- they are one of the best groups of fans around."

When confronted with the question on whether he could be the man to replace Strootman, he humbly responded: "It is not easy to replace someone like him, is a great player but I am here to learn and help the team."

While he hasn't really been given a fair chance to replace the Dutchman, he's only started three Serie A games this season, when he has played, he's looked good.

With Luciano Spalletti recently replacing Rudi Garcia as Roma manager, the Italian mastermind, who also knows Vainqueur from his hugely successful time in Russia managing Zenit, has shown a real willingness to utilise Vainqueur's all-round qualities by already handing him two starts.

And in the most recent of those starts, a hard fought 1-0 loss against Juventus, Vainqueur repaid his manager's faith superbly, putting in a spirited shift in the heart of midfield.

Playing alongside Miralem Pjanic in central midfield, within Spalletti's 3-4-2-1 formation, he undertook his work with intent, diligence and intelligence.

Positionally, he remained astute throughout, in a game where his tactical acumen was highlighted suitably. He never wandered out of position, and never did anything rash or unnecessary, with his awareness, discipline and concentration a real feature of his performance. It had to be, for he had to mark the likes of Paul Pogba, Sami Khedira, Claudio Marchisio and the crafty Paulo Dybala, in instances when he opted to drop off the frontline, whenever they moved into his designated area of cover.

It must be said, in this rather thankless task, he did a fine job of limiting their influence. He picked up their runs well and made many vital interventions, while successfully imposing himself physically in duels both on the ground and in the air. Moreover, the selfless Vainqueur would persistently slide across to provide vital assistance to Antonio Rudiger and countryman Lucas Digne, Roma's left sided center-back and left wing back respectively, on occasions when they needed support.

His brilliant defensive capabilities also allowed Pjanic to push further forward in Roma's possession phases, as the 27-year-old would sit back and cover for his Bosnian teammate, where his capacity to read saw him able to position himself perfectly to protect the defense in case of a turnover.

While Vainqueur's a player who undoubtedly excels on the defensive end, his work in possession is another crucial string to his bow. Technically, he's very compact. His first touch is terrific, his ball control sharp, which sees him able to shimmy out of high pressure situations, and his passing is crisp and precise. And against Juventus, this was no different.

Although he remained cautious with the ball at his feet, the way he acted as a reference point for his teammates to facilitate possession through was essential, ensuring his colleagues always had a viable out ball to utilise in the centre if in trouble. The fact he completed 40 out of his 41 attempted passes illustrated his exemplary distribution skills.

All things considered, it was a hugely encouraging performance from Vainqueur, who displayed just how crucial his multifaceted skillset can be for The Giallorossi moving forward. Upon being substituted on 71 minutes, he shared a warm congratulatory embrace with Spalletti, who clearly appreciated his strong body of work, on both sides of the ball.

With Daniele De Rossi lining up in defense and Radja Nainggolan being deployed in a more advanced role, Vainqueur's presence guaranteed Roma's midfield still operated with conviction, authority and with just the right amount of physicality and aggression.

Despite being relegated to the bench for Roma's much needed 3-1 win against relegation threatened Frosinone, he came on late to sure things up, putting in another similarly energetic effort to help Spalletti secure his first win in his second stint in charge of the club.

After all, if you translate Vainqueur's surname into English, it means "winner". And you can rest assured Roma's powerful number 21 will be doing everything in his power to ensure Roma are precisely that.

Read more from Edward at Licence to Roam