Thursday August 31 2017
Schick not what Roma need

Roma won the bidding war for Sampdoria striker Patrik Schick, but is he the best use of their resources? Michael Barbaro thinks not.

Roma made a huge statement in this summer’s mercato in signing the hotly-contested Patrik Schick from Sampdoria. But after warning signs shown in the first two match days and their failure to replace two outgoing stars, it is evident that the striker isn’t exactly what they needed.

The Giallorossi won a tricky opening-day battle in Bergamo 1-0, thanks to a cheeky free-kick from new signing Aleksandar Kolarov. It was Roma’s ability to win ‘ugly’ that impressed supporters, a trait they have lacked in previous years - even ultimately costing them the Scudetto. They were lucky not to concede in that game and a near-perfect performance by Juan Jesus overshadowed their otherwise shaky defensive performance.

However, Jesus was deployed at right-back in the following week’s loss to Inter, after Bruno Peres’ adductor strain in the previous match. Roma conceded three goals in the final 23 minutes against the Nerazzurri after leading 1-0 thanks to an early goal from Edin Dzeko. Federico Fazio instead partnered Kostas Manolas in defence. The loss raised more alarm bells for Eusebio Di Francesco, as it was his second defensive pairing in as many games - a problem which has seen Roma concede a large portion of goals through disorganisation at the back in previous years.

Following his €31m move to reigning Premier League champions Chelsea, Toni Rudiger wasn’t adequately replaced. The German international appeared 32 times last season, often alongside Manolas in defence, and proving to be a pivotal part of Roma’s team. Hector Moreno was brought in from PSV, but the 29-year-old is yet to appear. They currently have Moreno, Juan Jesus and Fazio as their other rotating centre-back, but lack a strong, consistent partner to Manolas.

In Zemanlandia folklore, a 4-3-3 formation is all about attack and outscoring the opposition, a philosophy that Di Francesco has followed since his days at Sassuolo. However, should the Trigoria outfit be successful this season, a tight defence is vital.

It isn’t just at the back where Roma needed strengthening: Mohamed Salah also wasn’t replaced properly after his departure to Liverpool. The Egyptian was one of their best players last season, a showing of 15 goals and 10 assists in his 31 league games solidified himself as one of the world’s best right-wingers. New sports director Monchi brought in Turkish wonderkid Cengiz Under, but the youngster is still raw and can’t be relied on just yet.

Gregoire Defrel was reunited with his former Sassuolo manager, but seems to be uncomfortable on the right. He is a natural striker, therefore was underwhelming for his new side in the first two encounters. A new right-winger was searched for throughout this mercato and Monchi’s stubborn refusal to meet Leicester City’s €44m valuation of Riyad Mahrez left many Roma fans concerned that a Salah replacement wouldn’t be purchased.

The signing of long-term Juventus target Schick left fans excited, and hundreds of Romanisti flocked to Fiumicino Airport to greet the ex-Sampdoria striker. However, it is again hard to see where the youngster fits into EDF’s system. Edin Dzeko is coming off a career-best year; the Bosnian international captain finished the season as Capocannoniere with 29 league goals.

Unless a change of formation is deployed by Di Francesco, it is hard to see how he fits both Schick and Dzeko in his best XI. A replacement is eventually needed for the ageing Dzeko, but the Giallorossi may have found more success if they had invested in a star centre-back or right-winger, instead.

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Have your say...
@Tunna and @Trigoria Ground .. with all due the respect I probably older then you realize. I grew up and was born in Italia. I'm not American, Canadian etc , sono Italiano. I mean no disrepect .. surely buy winning players, of any nationality, but have a conscious to stay Roman or Italian. It's unfortunate, to see what Roma has become, and you may not understand. You must fix the problem within Roma if you want to win, they have the best youth academcy potential, but wasted, given away regularly
on the 1st September, 2017 at 12:23pm
@Ex-Romanisti, good riddance. You wernt a true supporter to start with anyway. Go and support Juve please so you can smile at the end of every season, without any real attachment to the team or club.
“Like many, we’ve switched allegiances” lol, ma va…. One of the more absurb things I’ve read this week.

As for the mercato, all it would have taken was the signing of a solid CB and we’d all be heaping praise. My glass is always half full so I trust that Monchi did the best he could within the limitations. I still think we have the best midfield in Serie A and out attack finally has a lot of depth, allowing EDF many options in both formation and personnel. Let’s not forget that we have Florenzi to come back as well.

Schick: He’s comfortable as a Prima Punta, Seconda Punta or a mezz ala, so I expect him to shine. Time will tell.

Bottom line though is the defence is a major worry.
on the 1st September, 2017 at 3:58am
Roma's mercato was not very good at all. Never addressed the key position. Schicks going to be a good one, but that's all. Defrel, don't even get started on that one.
on the 1st September, 2017 at 3:53am
Roma had a decent transfer window karsdorp is going to be a top signing and schick a potential superstar, also moreno or juan jesus will do a good job in center back im not worried to much about that, defrel tho seems like a waste of 20 million. 20 million we wont get back its not even his fault. He just looks so unproductive on the wing and is never going to play ahead of dzeko it was a signing that made no sence, the mahrez deal should of been pushed trough
on the 31st August, 2017 at 9:09pm
To ex - romanisti we dont need you go support PSG
on the 31st August, 2017 at 6:47pm
You guys call yourselves supporters? Pathetic. Sure! There are plenty of negatives and question marks but if you can't take a single positive out of this mercato and team then you are just hating for the sake of hating.

Hey ex romanista! Ciao! Don't let the door hit you on the way out. You obviously haven't been a fan before 2005. We have been way wiorse. Rosella would have us batting relegation or mid table at best.
on the 31st August, 2017 at 4:41pm
"Defrel for 20 millions is a terrible deal, looks awful on the wing."
I couldn't agree more. It's this sort of thing that makes me worry about EDF, as it was obviously his shout.2
on the 31st August, 2017 at 4:13pm
I hope EDF is not just another in the list of Roma's experiments: Zenman (awful) luis enrique(uselss and awful to watch) Garcia (one trick pony). Only Ranieri (the flame went out pretty quickly like at Leicester) and Spaletti really have really come close to winning anything.
on the 31st August, 2017 at 4:12pm
I agree completely with Roman. The team is at the same level as last year but I'm not at all sure about EDF. If he will only play 433 what's there to say he'll do any better than Garcia. Yes, I know that Garcia's Roma came second but they got found out whn everyone realised there was no plan B.
on the 31st August, 2017 at 4:08pm
There's no chance to properly improve when FFP targets clubs like us, while the Chinese clubs and all the traditional powerhouses are allowed to spend as they please. We are restricted to break-even for what? Because we might go bankrupt? Give me a break.

Schick will be fine to play on the right wing - he drifted in a lot from there last year. He can dribble and cut inside well. The only question is about defending but I mean we're talking about the heir to Salah so
on the 31st August, 2017 at 3:13pm
Completely agree with @stenzz.

In my opinion, this transfer market was a failure. No adequate replacement for Rudiger.

And then we go and make Schick our most expensive signing ever, despite a glaring need for a RW. Schick is not a RW. He said it himself, his preferred role is the #9 spot. Now the Defrel signing makes even less sense. We should have coughed up the extra $5m and bough Mahrez....
on the 31st August, 2017 at 2:03pm
Roma are no better than they were, but not much weaker either.

Too many people getting worked up over the one-season wonder Mahrez. Schick can play in his role anyway.

But they're a top 4 team at best. Maybe a long run in the EL (if they get knocked out of the CL group) is their best chance of glory.
on the 31st August, 2017 at 12:08pm
I used to love AS Roma, so so much. They use to produce consistently new Italian players and now, giving them time to develop and keep the Italian tradition. Now Inter have followed the path of Inter, they is no care for the history of Roma anymore and as such I, and a large number of Roma (now ex-Roma) supporters have switched allegiances. I actually miss the days of the Sensi family.
on the 31st August, 2017 at 11:44am
Only real concern for me about AS Roma this season is the coach EDF.

He is very young in his coaching and hasn't coached under the stress at all. In Rome it takes 2 or 3 bad results and everyone will start talking about new coaches that Roma are looking after and etc.

Roma's current squad is totally capable of winning scudetto or at least fighting for champions league spots.
on the 31st August, 2017 at 10:58am
@Giallorossi 90% of the transfer have been done within July for Roma, how come you say Monchi and EDF have no idea?
on the 31st August, 2017 at 10:32am
Roma squad has improved and Schick is an outstanding signing, I see him as the Salah replacement. They kept Radja who is lone of the best mids in the world and they have Jesus in the side, though he was wearing his sandals back to front against Ivan the Terrible!

The only thing is, the other teams around them have strengthened more.

Shocked Inter didn't tie up Schick and then Keita, and why won't Gabigol get his chance!!!
on the 31st August, 2017 at 10:18am
'ASRoma is the greatest team in Italy this year.' You must be joking. Im a fan, but a realistic one. This season will teach the team a lesson.
on the 31st August, 2017 at 9:43am
So much ASRoma hate these days. And you are right to be afraid. ASRoma is the greatest team in Italy this year. Let the hate flow through you! Schick is the left footed RW EDF was looking for. We still have the best midfield in Italy and Moreno was absent because of Confederations Cup and therefore a longer leave for rest - he will be a important piece of this defence!Inter should have had 2 red cards in first half and Roma should have lead 4-0 before Icardi scored.EDF totally demolished Inter!
on the 31st August, 2017 at 8:58am
Mark my wods, this will be a terrible terrible season for Roma. Monchi and the coach have no idea whats coming. Pretty much everyone strengthened and Roma have been weakened dramatically.
on the 31st August, 2017 at 8:41am
I agree that Roma haven't looked impressive in the first two games, regardless of what EDF says. I strongly disagree that Schick will not be fit in the starting XI with Dzeko. If the author would have watched Schick play it's obvious he's very comfortable operating in wide positions, especially on the right side. Schick will certainly be occupying the RW spot, moving Defrel to the vise Dzeko, where he should be.
on the 31st August, 2017 at 5:23am
Agreed. Terrible trasnfermarket for Roma. Potentially world class CB was replaced by a mexican playing in dutch league.. salah was not replace at all. Then we can spend 40 millions on a striker who stays on bench? And cant find extra 5 million for Mahrez? What?
Defrel for 20 millions is a terrible deal, looks awful on the wing.
on the 31st August, 2017 at 4:56am
on the 31st August, 2017 at 4:37am
Another anti-roma article but this was the best roma could've done in the mercato.We needed a goalkeeper, centre back and right winger.

Defrel,Under and Karsdorp will make anyone scratch their head but Kolarov and Schick won't. There wasn't anything much else could've been done because whomsoever else would've been too: expensive,old and/or injury prone. Or worst of all needed time to acclimatize to italian and even UEFA football.
on the 31st August, 2017 at 2:04am

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