Friday September 18 2020
Fonseca: 'Dzeko comes with us to Verona'

Roma coach Paulo Fonseca has revealed Edin Dzeko will be in the squad against Hellas Verona and stressed the Giallorossi must ‘adapt to play a different game’ against Ivan Juric’s side.

La Lupa start 2020-21 with an away trip to the Bentegodi and Fonseca said he has not decided who will play up front against the Gialloblu and revealed new signing Marash Kumbulla is not ready to start the game.

“For the centre-forward we will see. Kumbulla only trained yesterday and today, he’s not ready to start,” Fonseca said at press conference. “We have a different way of playing than he did at Verona.

“But he’s a very smart guy, he understood what I told him. We are working to buy young players, but we can mix with the more experienced we have here. I like this project.”

Fonseca revealed Rick Karsdorp will play against Hellas Verona.

“He will play tomorrow, and he will stay with us because we have faith with him,” the coach added. “He has done a positive job these weeks, he is ready to help the team because he will stay with us this year.”

The Portuguese coach has said captain Dzeko travels to Verona, despite the proposed farewell and arrival of Arek Milik, and claimed the Giallorossi continue to work on closing a deal for Chris Smalling with Manchester United.

“Dzeko is here with us, he’ll be in the game tomorrow. There is no point in talking about this change now.

“I’m in contact with Smalling, we are working to have him with us. I spoke to him yesterday. The player wants to come back here and we want to take him back, I hope that he will be back with us in the next few days.”

Fonseca starts his second year at the Olimpico and believes he has learned 'a lot' about Italian football.

“Many things. In the other leagues there aren’t many teams playing like Atalanta or Verona, I have to understand that playing against teams like this is very different.

“We must adapt. I think we played two good games against Verona last season and won. It will be difficult but we must understand that it will be a different game.”

Roma bounced back after a change of formation last term and the big question is if Fonseca decides to play with three or four at the back.

“We are ready to play with two different systems, even to start with one and then continue with another.”

Fonseca remembers the team struggled to keep possession against Ivan Juric’s men last term.

“It’s not easy to have the ball against Verona. We have to come out fast when we get the ball back, they are very strong when they lose it.

“They react well and it’s much more difficult to do what we usually do in a match. We must adapt to play a different game against Verona."