Everything is very clear and at the same time hazy under the yellow and red sky. It starts with a Conference Cup and a sixth place in the league with the aim of overcoming. It means entering the fight for the Scudetto or reaching the end of the Europa League. Easy to say, but these are goals for which the charge and the charisma of Mourinho may not be enough. We need to strengthen a squad that in the past season has achieved something more than what could be expected. And it is not taken for granted that it can repeat itself.
As we have been writing for days, in the programs of Friedkin there is a great shot and two good players. In midfield he went out Mkhitaryan and entered Matic. The balance cannot be calculated, because they are different athletes. The first was for Roma, together with Pilgrims, the ability to play between the lines, transforming an otherwise monotonous maneuver into something less predictable. The Serbian giant consolidates the interdiction of the median, strengthens the aerial game, but does not increase the speed, nor subrogate the imagination of the Armenian.
The arrival of Celik would strengthen the fascias, where the recovery of Spinazzola it already amounts to a major purchase. In Mourinho’s game, two outsiders capable of raiding and skilled in one-on-one can be a lethal weapon. However, it is clear that Roma will make the big investment on the three-quarters, having guaranteed the median. But it is precisely in this part of the field that the market strategies impact on what we will define the Zeta factorthat is the fate of the most talented but also the most problematic player of the Giallorossi company: Nicolò Zaniolo.
After a fluctuating season, the playmaker took leave of the Portuguese coach, giving him the satisfaction of the Cup, with a goal that was the fruit of his talent. But two unknowns weigh on the future. The first concerns the athletic transformation suffered following the double injury: Zaniolo today he is more powerful but less agile, less suitable for bucking on the flanks that in the first part of his career brought him closer to the irrepressibility of a Leao, and more useful in the role of second striker. Which is not a defect, since coupled with Abraham it is one of the viable options also in the next season.
The second unknown is instead character: net of the media pressure that does not facilitate the serenity of the Giallorossi talent, it is certain that his restlessness is structured as a component of the personality that is not easily manageable. The same Mourinhowho even in the first part of the season welcomed him under his protective wing, and who in the second part accepted some insubordination, seemed less tolerant at the end. Zaniolo it seems to be directed towards the existential landing of those complex personalities, to be taken or left as they are. Football is not usually an environment capable of integrating such eccentric profiles. The series is full of failures, partly due to the unwillingness of these people to keep their emotions in check, partly due to the reactivity of the system, which tends to expel what does not conform. Will this also happen between Roma and Zaniolo?
It will depend on two circumstances. The first concerns any advantageous offers, which have not yet materialized. Net of some interest from Milan, no one has made an offer that could be considered credible. Roma claims for Zaniolo fifty millions, a figure that few would be willing to pay, for the same reasons that lead the Giallorossi company to evaluate the divorce. The second circumstance concerns the player’s will. Which would remain in Rome, but expects a contractual integration that brings him closer to the stop wages of Pilgrims and Abraham: it means going from three to four and a half million.
In these conditions Zaniolo is the real bet of the Giallorossi market: selling him could mean giving up the greatest talent at your disposal, but keeping him is just as risky. Also because Nicolò is a leader in his own way, giving him a jersey means building the offensive game on him. In this way it is possible to propitiate his complete maturation as one of the top players in the league and in the national team. But also to risk the flop.
Calculated gambling is an oxymoron that football cultivates, mixing intuitiveness and rationality at the same time. If we were Friedkin And Mourinho we would give the rebel talent another chance. Because we are convinced that the positives are even greater than the negativities.
And we would be looking for two key players on the market: a central defensive player to support Smalling And Mancini, and an advanced playmaker of great quality, capable of enhancing the offensive skills of Abraham and Zaniolo. Which together can represent one of the strongest attacks in the league. Seeing is believing.
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