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Thursday August 9 2018
Signings change Roma style

Eusebio Di Francesco will likely stick by his 4-3-3 formation despite a heavy influx of new talent, but expect a more balanced Roma side in 18-19, argues Matthew Santangelo.

For the second summer in a row, Roma go into the new season having lost more than one key component of their squad.

The loss of two key starting players, in midfield engine Radja Nainggolan and sweeper-keeper Alisson, will without question have an effect on how Eusebio Di Francesco transmits his style of football entering the 2018-19 Serie A season. And with the arrival of more than a dozen new faces up and down the squad, the shape of the Giallorossi comes off as being a bit more balanced and position-orientated at the first few glances during this pre-season tour.

Despite finishing third domestically and as a semi-finalist in the UEFA Champions League, fans would have liked to see Roma delve into the market to add that depth without significant sales like that of Mohamed Salah, who was sold last summer and wound up terrorising the Premier League in what is considered to have been one of the best seasons England has ever witnessed.

Unfortunately for supporters, this major market activity came somewhat at the expense of two key players leaving equating close to €100m in proceeds, though the coffers were fattened as a result of their European achievements which aided in a more flexible operating budget for sporting director Monchi.

When you analyse where Roma have improved on from last year, you can pinpoint attacking playmaker Javier Pastore.

While Di Francesco has yet to define the Argentine’s role in the 4-3-3, that shape does provide the positional flexibility to either create down the centre of the midfield or play through the wing, which also welcomes the energy and attacking potential Justin Kluivert exudes.

The Ajax academy talent easily finds himself playing a prominent role for Roma, especially when you consider the production from this area in recent years. Though competition for minutes on both ends remains open with Diego Perotti, Stephan El Shaarawy and Cengiz Ünder; Kluivert’s inclusion allows for Patrik Schick to find comfort in his preferred central role as deputy to starter Edin Dzeko. Kluivert still must settle into his groove in the Italian capital, but his trickery and skill on the ball are welcomed qualities in this side that lacked attacking balance.

Beyond Pastore and Kluivert, there is the acquisition of Bryan Cristante who brings with him the wherewithal to plunge forward and provide goals from an important midfield role. In all competitions last season, the former Milan youth product tucked away 12 goals for Atalanta, a sum not to be overlooked for Roma, who simply did not score enough from that department last season.

Throughout the International Champions Cup tour in the U.S., Di Francesco used the tournament as a platform to shuffle his personnel in an effort to gauge where certain players fit best. Based off the matches with Tottenham, Barcelona and Real Madrid, the midfield’s proven to be Di Francesco’s main area of focus, looking to sort out who is best suited for the three positions.

While it is completely understood these ICC fixtures must be taken with a grain of salt, they present an opportunity for many in the Roma side to convince Di Francesco and secure spots just weeks away from the Serie A opening weekend.

On the surface, Roma could prove to be a bit more balanced top to bottom, but the biggest question remains in Robin Olsen’s ability to effectively integrate into Di Francesco’s scheme and show enough confidence in possession and with his feet to neutralise at least a bit of the impact taken from the departure of Alisson.

Have your say...
N'Zonzi is not worth it for this team. Other teams are more in need. De Rossi and Strootman and now Cristante, who started as a registra (the new Redondo said Galliani) and has become a box-to-box type. But when he has the ball, his back is firmly to his goal, and he can hold a withdrawn space, and he can defend.

Pastore offers a different profile. As does Kluivert.

I don't see why Roma aren't focusing on Matteo Darmian. He's a RIGHT back, who excels opening up right. Roma need a right back.
on the 12th August, 2018 at 8:03pm
I kinda predict Roma better days are past them. They’re gonna have a toughER season. They’ve lost 5 big stars past 2 years : Totti,Salah,Radja,Alisson,Szczesny.
Derossi will leave next season. They needed to make a few big name signings to keep up/ the ball rolling into future. Big: Keeper/ Attacker/ Mid/ Winger. Roma by now shoulda had a new stadio, sold out season, gaining worldwide fans/marketing following in Juve footsteps.
Don’t think Eusebio will last past November.
Balo ? Good n bad risk
on the 10th August, 2018 at 10:14pm
Roma need to start constructing their new stadium, so they can hold on to their best players! PERIOD.
on the 10th August, 2018 at 4:43pm
Morten Bering,

Thanks for your input.

I also hope Olsen will improve/ develop further in Rome.


My thought is: we should have kept Skorupski as no.1
--he is undervalued and will be great hit at Bologna!

PS:
I can't believe Roma will sell Perotti.
Losing him & Radja in same year will be heartbroking...
on the 10th August, 2018 at 3:34pm
Hello Italy. Morten from Copenhagen, Denmark.

Olsen is a great shoot-stopping goalkeeper, but he is no good with the ball at his feet.
Truth is, last season he was like the rest of the FCK team, no good, but the season before that, very magnificent.
He will also have to adapt too language and I think it will course some problems. He can develop further, but I also think you guys needs to be patient.
Bottom line, I think Roma should have signed another goalkeeper. Like Pepe Reina.

Good luck
on the 10th August, 2018 at 8:57am
I think that Balotelli would be perfect singing instead nzonzi i would buy Jonjo Shelvey.
on the 10th August, 2018 at 12:38am
Recently, every single season, many calcio fans alway write off Roma. They mock Monchi at every opportunity but they know his trophy count speaks for itself.

The guy is making team built to the future. Yet, If you sell a star players, it’s point.

Lack of experienced & established players worries me. I would be delighted N’zonzi if he signs fous
on the 10th August, 2018 at 12:14am
"For the second summer in a row, Roma go into the new season having lost more than one key component of their squad."

More like the 7th or 8th summer in a row.
on the 9th August, 2018 at 9:09pm
roma could line up this way
(4-3-3)

GK (1) :
olsen/mirante

DEFENDER (4) :
florenzi/karsdorp
fazio/marcano
manolas/juan
kolarov/santon

MIDFIELDER (3) :
derossi/gonalons
pellegrini/strootman
cristante/pastore/coric

FORWARD (3) :
dzeko/schick
cengiz/perotti
elshaa/kluivert
on the 9th August, 2018 at 7:58pm
Now Roma only needs N’Zonzi instead of Gone-alons and another winger. Forza Roma!
on the 9th August, 2018 at 7:05pm
I don't know much about Olsen, but I remember when Roma got Szczesny from Arsenal. I thought they had made a mistake but then he turned out to be the best goalkeeper in Serie A. Once he left I thought Roma would suffer but then their backup Alisson started and he was hailed as the best goalkeeper in Serie A once again. Roma have had good luck with goalkeepers, so I'm not going to write off their dealings just yet.
on the 9th August, 2018 at 6:30pm
I don't know much about Olsen, but I remember when Roma got Szczesny from Arsenal. I thought they had made a mistake but then he turned out to be the best goalkeeper in Serie A. Once he left I thought Roma would suffer but then their backup Alisson started and he was hailed as the best goalkeeper in Serie A once again. Roma have had good luck with goalkeepers, so I'm not going to write off their dealings just yet.
on the 9th August, 2018 at 6:30pm
Now Roma only needs N’Zonzi instead of Gone-alons and another winger. Forza Roma!
on the 9th August, 2018 at 5:41pm
@Tanzaniano

Copenhagen fans mocked Roma on social media after the Olsen move, saying they dramatically overpaid for him and that he didn't stand out in the Danish league.. Where is your logic coming from that he is on the same level as Allison? Awful comment.
on the 9th August, 2018 at 3:26pm
Roma certainly did yet another great transfer campaign. Monchi did it right again. The acquisitions are of immense quality and they are young, full of energy and hunger. Added to that is a proven quality player in Pastore, who helps provide top class experience. I believe Roma will do well in the next decade if they can continue this trend. They are in safe hands.
on the 9th August, 2018 at 1:15pm
Roma did great job this year by selling a aging smoker redja and upgrade him with youthful and classic Italian cristate that cannot not be sound as loss, the same can be said to Allison one year wonder then come to think about the amount which Liverpool paid there was no reason to ignore that deal,
oslsen is on the same level as allison and mochi gonna make romapowerfull in euro within 4 year.........
on the 9th August, 2018 at 10:16am

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