Friday January 4 2013
Is this the real Destro?

Alex Mott looks at Mattia Destro’s disappointing six months at Roma and asks what’s wrong with the 21-year-old?

News coming out of Italy this week has suggested that Roma striker Pablo Osvaldo may not be sticking around the Stadio Olimpico for very long. The 26-year-old has been sensational this term for the Giallorossi, scoring nine League goals in just 13 appearances, and becoming a focal point for the free-flowing, all-encompassing football of Zdenek Zeman’s side.

The former Espanyol man has flourished under the guidance of the Czech Coach and has been one of the true surprises of the season. It is no wonder then that the likes of Milan and Fiorentina have been sniffing around the Argentina-born forward, with a view to signing him during the window.

If that is the case, and he does leave the Lupi for pastures new, it could either be the making, or breaking, of understudy Mattia Destro.

The 21-year-old has been utterly inconsistent since his arrival from Siena in the summer. And has been in-and-out of the starting XI as a result. A return of four goals –  against Palermo, Siena and Pescara – in 13 Serie A games isn’t quite what the Roma hierarchy had in mind when they signed the striker tipped as the next big thing.

Some star turns the previous year for the Robur had attracted the attention of the biggest and brightest teams on the peninsula. But it was the capital club who eventually won out, initially spending a whopping €11.5m to bring him to the Eternal City.

A lot was expected of the Ascoli-born attacker when he joined La Magica, as club legend Francesco Totti highlighted. “We're talking about a very promising young man here,” the captain told reporters back in July. “I think that he could become a top player. His arrival will really improve the squad.”

Things haven’t quite gone to plan however, and with half the season gone, Destro has still only managed to play a full 90 minutes four times.

There’s no doubting the young man’s talents – he has pace, intelligence on the ball, a clear eye for goal and even managed to score on his full international debut. But when you look at the progress being made by Milan forward Stephan El Shaarawy, the comparisons are not even close.

It’s a real Catch 22 for Zeman and his coaching staff in how to get the best out of the former Inter Primavera man. Should he be given an extended run in the team to regain his confidence and goalscoring touch? But if he fails, how can Roma cope without a genuine presence up front?

Of course, Destro is still a player developing talents – however, at what point does potential tip over into lack of quality? It’s a question the Coach will be pondering relentlessly during the January transfer window.

To be completely fair to the one-time Genoa man though, even he has admitted that his six months in red and yellow haven’t been entirely successful. “I need to be more clinical in front of goal,” he noted. “Certain chances should not be missed.

“The team has faith in me, but, unfortunately, I have not been able to give what I would have wanted up until now. I had no doubts about joining Roma though. Fabio Borini – now at Liverpool – advised me to come because this is a great team and a great city.”

It is perhaps unfair to be too critical about a striker who is only just starting out in the game at such a level. The fact remains, however, that his first few months in Rome haven’t been at all good.

Maybe it has been the weight of expectation? Maybe the price tag has put him off? Perhaps he needs some time to get used to Zeman’s style of play? Whatever it is, the tifosi will be hoping that 2013 is the year Mattia Destro truly arrives.

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Have your say...
Obviously, at least to me, the rumors involving the possible move of Osvaldo indicate that Roma is willing to show patience with Destro as well as wanting to clear some room up front for him. With both Osvaldo and Lamella scoring regularly, Destro's chances won't be unlimited, so he too has to take them when presented. Wasting as many as he did vs Napoli wasn't helpful, especially with Osvaldo coming in and scoring almost immediately. Give the kid a bit of time though.
on the 10th January, 2013 at 2:44pm
To be fair to Destro his minutes played to goals scored ratio isn't too catastrophic. Granted, he's wasted some great chances this season but he's still really young and is far from his best. Give him time, I say.
on the 10th January, 2013 at 1:46pm
Anyone who watched the game vs Napoli witnessed Destro missing 4 clear cut chances to score. He missed all of them terribly, this kid doesn't have the fire in his belly. He made bad decisions all year long and the games he does score in are blowouts by the time he puts the ball in the net. He brought the pressure and expectations on himself when he held out for more money from Roma this summer. Now he deserves all the criticism he gets, as a Life long Romanista I hope we get rid of him.
on the 8th January, 2013 at 5:27pm
As a Roma fan I am concerned about the rumours concerning players leaving the club. Osvaldo, Destro, Pjanic and that's without Zeman seemingly trying to drive out 2 of our top players (De Rossi and Steklenburg). I'd like to dismiss these rumours as just that, but I've seen us lose top players to our rivals far too often (Vucinic, Mexes, Chivu, Mancini, Emerson, Cafu etc) to think that it won't happen again.

As for Destro, his 1st 6 months at the club have hardly been a disaster. Patience!
on the 7th January, 2013 at 10:09pm
Destro is a bum. He'll never live up to the hype like 99% of the "prospects" out there in Seria A.
on the 7th January, 2013 at 3:41pm
@ Viktor

where was ses against Roma , yeah right Piris controlled him completely and Piris is not even a good right back
on the 6th January, 2013 at 1:37am
He's young. Give him time. With Osvaldo's, Lamela's and Totti's form this term (and Pjanic's good display when he fills in up top) so far there's a little chance of Destro fitting in until he has a few breakout performances off the bench. They will come, but it's unfair to condemn his career and ask "is this the real destro" after only 6 months with a top club. Unfair expectations have been placed on him after a 'good' season in 2011/12. He had what? 12 goals last year with Siena?
on the 6th January, 2013 at 12:29am

Lololol, comparing him to ses would be a compliment fot destro. Ses is waay more vital atm... SES and cavani are currently best in seria a.. Deal with it.
on the 5th January, 2013 at 5:00pm
he has been below par but shows signs that he can score ,cassano scored only 5 in his first year at Roma and destro already scored more , but still the real Destro please stand up , i repeat , the real Destro please stand up !
on the 5th January, 2013 at 2:12pm
To be honest, this article is exaggerating. Except his performance wasting chances against Fiorentina, those who watch most of Roma games this season would be happy with Mattia. Super backup for Osvaldo.

Is there any Romanista who can think of stronger Roma's forwards than what we have this season? Lamela, Osvaldo, Totti, Pjanic, and Destro + Zeman as the mastermind

With some common sense, why would we sell any of them?
on the 5th January, 2013 at 8:26am
Poorly written article, this website used to be good, with intelligent articles, but now it's no better than and their lies and BS. This article was written by someone who has been looking at stats rather than watching the kid play. Lazy lazy writing and just an all around terrible article.
on the 5th January, 2013 at 3:38am
Destro has done well enough considering his minutes. Even if he is not putting away goals when playing, he is doing everything else just fine. Watch more football or read a book, please.
on the 5th January, 2013 at 12:40am
Interesting that Destro is a "failure" after 6 months, according to football Italia, in their attempt to get more readership. Lackluster play? More like lazy writing where the focus is conjecture and stirring up imaginary problems (De Rossi's issues?). Destro could finish one of his half dozen clear chances a game, he could make a better final pass, and then we'd be talking about him instead of the Little Pharoah in terms of MVP.
on the 4th January, 2013 at 7:47pm
This is just dumb. 4 goals in 13 games appearances is not a bad return for a young striker in half a season at a new club. There is competition for the center forward role- big deal. Bad form never had him on the bench. He has consistently impressed for three months now. Just because they spent money on him doesn't mean he needs to score 20 goals right away. Be realistic. No reason at all to part with him or Osvaldo. Lastly one half season doesn't make Fiorentina a bigger club than Roma...
on the 4th January, 2013 at 7:00pm
Italian journalists are top notch for spreading rumours...this week it is Osvaldo's turn.
As far as Destro is concerned...the article points out that he has played 4 games for the 90 minutes. Not fair to gauge a striker this early into the season and expect so much based on his inconsistent playing times....As it stands he is coming off the bench basically....He is not a starter.
on the 4th January, 2013 at 6:16pm
Give the boy time. He has done very well when playing a couple of games in a row, he has played out wide or as a sub many a time and of course that hinders his strengths. And dont compare him with Sharawy please, cause where was that Milan boy last season?? Why in Italy players are being judged instantly, they need a season to adapt. oh, and Osvaldo is going nowhere, journalists need to fill their papers with that and the usual de rossi pjanic etc ....
on the 4th January, 2013 at 5:54pm
Like most people have said destro has missed games through mainly injury. He has played well and im sure he will become more prolific in front of goal as time goes on. Forza roma. Lets win at sao paulo like last season. Top 3 this season is possible and hopefully coppa italia.
on the 4th January, 2013 at 5:10pm
Lets get the facts straight here. Osvaldo isn't going anywhere. The club doesn't intend on selling him and the player himself today rubbished the rumors. Nothing more than the Italian papers fabricating stories as they famously do, especially during the winter break.
Destro hasn't had a chance to find consistency because he has either been injured or suspended. When he has strung a few games together he has been lively and showed promise. He will be fine. Zeman brought him Rome don't forget.
on the 4th January, 2013 at 4:25pm
With a new stadium in the horizon and thereby better economy - why would Roma sell Osvaldo?
on the 4th January, 2013 at 4:17pm
Destro's problem has been a lack of playing time, not a lack of quality. Every time Destro begins to play consistently he scores. Berlusconi recently said he would like to buy Mattia Destro. As a Milan fan, I wish he would. Destro is a great player who hasn't got a proper chance at Roma.
on the 4th January, 2013 at 4:16pm
He's a decent striker but never Balotelli/Pato/El Shaarawy level quality. I think he was overrated by a few journalists.
on the 4th January, 2013 at 3:30pm
Happy new year one & all!

There is nothing wrong with Destro! Injuries, suspensions, Osvaldo's form, & fleeting appearances have a hampered his progess this season. He has not had a sustained run of playing time.

Like with Matri, if he played at least 10 games in a row, I am confident that he will find his rhythm and show his quality.
on the 4th January, 2013 at 3:23pm
Osvaldo is not leaving for Milan or Fiorentina, neither of these clubs can afford him now and despite the silly rumours with no quotes Roma has no intention to sell him now except if a really big offer comes.
on the 4th January, 2013 at 3:13pm
News coming out of Italy lol....average journo's trying to keep themselves in a job...News flash Osvaldo is going know where...FACT.....Destro has done well a lot of the time he has played and will learn and improve under players like Totti and Osvaldo...The kid was a focal point last season and played well, its a different story at Roma and he is only finding his stride..Articles like this are a little premature and frankly will look very foolish in the next year....Roma is a club going places
on the 4th January, 2013 at 2:50pm

Or ac milan. Him n ses
on the 4th January, 2013 at 2:40pm
Very good player who is worth sticking with, I think. Give him a few seasons at least. There used to be a lot more patience with players than there is now. They should give him every chance - same with Liverpool and Borini. Let's hope they make it - two big hopes for the azzurri.
on the 4th January, 2013 at 2:26pm
Wow, Osvaldo to Fiorentina who would have thought fiorentina would be bigger than Roma 5 years ago, I hope Fiorentina can become a force for a while nad not just one year wonders, Destro however is just at the wrong club with little space to play, unless Osvaldo does go, maybe Destro should consider a loan to club like Parma or Sampdoria
on the 4th January, 2013 at 2:02pm

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