Luis Enrique assures Roma fans he has “plenty of options” to replace Francesco Totti as Roma take on Atalanta.
The captain is suspended for Sunday’s trip to Bergamo, so the media believes it’ll come down to a choice between Miralem Pjanic and Erik Lamela for the trequartista role.
“They aren’t the only alternatives, as there are also Marquinho, Simone Perrotta and Bojan Krkic,” insisted Luis Enrique in today’s press conference.
“I can choose between four or five players, so this way everyone has to stay on their toes. I have plenty of options to replace Totti.”
Simon Kjaer is also expected to start despite recent criticism of his performances.
“Simon is a player at the top level. He’s only 22 and yet has already played a World Cup, two seasons in Serie A and one in the Bundesliga. He has perfect physique and mentality for football.
“When there are mistakes, you get back up. That’s true for Kjaer as it is for Fabio Borini, Perrotta, Marco Cassetti – everyone. Mistakes are made by everybody, not just football players.”
Atalanta would be only four points behind Roma were it not for the six-point penalty over a betting scandal.
“They have done very well and the team is extremely dangerous. German Denis is not the only threat, as they are good on the break and have other quality figures like Luca Cigarini, Matteo Brighi and Ezequiel Schelotto. Atalanta had a wonderful start to the season and deserve to be in this position,” continued the Roma Coach.
The pressure is already building ahead of next week’s Derby della Capitale, especially as rivals Lazio are in disarray.
“I won’t think about the derby, as the most important game is tomorrow. I don’t like talking about other teams, so I focus only on Roma.”
Enrique is so adamant when it comes to his own progress, too, as he was asked about reports he’d replace Pep Guardiola at Barcelona.
“The future does not exist in football. When I agreed a deal with Franco Baldini, I didn’t think I would not respect that contract. I cannot think it now either.
“I live in the present and work to improve the team. I don’t know what I’ll do after Roma, as the only certainty is that if the club wants then I’ll be here to the end of my contract and very happy to do that.”