Ramón Rodríguez Verdejo, famously known as Monchi, arrived in Rome last May after enjoying 16 years as the director of football at Sevilla, carrying silverware to the club's cabinet like never before.
Upon his arrival to the Giallorossi, he announced in his first statement that the team's all-time legend Francesco Totti will retire, a month later Coach Luciano Spalletti followed the Captain out of the club after leading them to a milestone of 87 points.
And during the summer transfer window, the Wolves were stripped of vital players in every position as Wojciech Szczesny joined rivals Juventus, Antonio Rüdiger and Leandro Paredes followed Italian tacticians to England and Russia, while the most lethal member of the squad Mohamed Salah had unfinished business in the Premier League.
A new Coach along with eight players arrived at the club, which pushed the followers of Italian football to make a mockery out of Monchi's summer comments that Roma wasn't a supermarket and even the most optimistic Roma fans would label the situation as a transitional period, especially with the lack of experience under Di Francesco's managerial belt.
However, the Italian boss hasn’t been the slightest whiff of a manager struggling to adjust his side. He maintained the third spot in Serie A and most importantly headed La Magica to their first Champions League quarter-finals in 10 years, clarifying he is not just an intermediate option until Monchi rebuilds the Colosseum.
Apart from Aleksandar Kolarov proving he is the bargain of the season in Italian football, none of the new faces have put on displays that would make the Lupi fans forget about the bags of talent that left the club, yet the philosophy implemented by Di Francesco brought the results they have been longing for.
Faith in Alisson Becker helped the Brazilian reach sensational form, pulling 27 more saves than any keeper remaining in the Champions League, but more importantly the defensive unity assembled by Di Francesco has kept Roma's clean sheet in all four home games in the competition.
The team that used to be identified by their beautiful football and massive defensive errors have turned the tables to become honest representatives of pure Calcio, as with the Shakhtar game they didn’t concede a single shot on target. Thanks also to the outstanding individual qualities upfront, Roma are bagging the results they dreamed of.
Cengiz Under, Stephan El Shaarawy and Diego Perotti have all had astonishing runs in different times of the season, but the maturity of Eden Dzeko under his new manager has been the most crucial.
Although he rebelled at the start of the campaign, stating he misses his partnership with Salah, he eventually submitted to Di Francesco, who turned him from a goal scoring machine in to a decisive overall force for Roma upfront.
Dzeko hasn't reached half his goal scoring records from last year, but he has managed a much higher rate of key passes to his teammates and the ones he fired past ‘keepers have broken Napoli's winning streak in Serie A and forced Chelsea and Shakhtar to bow down to the Emperors in the Champions League.
Doesn't Di Francesco deserve more praise for beauty he wrought from what was expected to be a mess?