Deadline day signings promise improvement at Roma

What to expect from Luis Enrique’s Roma? That is the million dollar question as the new Serie A season comes ever closer. After an embarrassing exit from the Europa League to minnows Slovan Bratislava and rumours of riffs between Enrique and senior players already surfacing questions are already being asked about what is to come when the Spaniard’s side take to the field in their first league game of the season.
A flurry of activity late in the transfer window saw the club recruit Simon Kjaer, Miralem Pjanic, Fabio Borini and Fernando Gago late in the transfer window to add to the players signed earlier in the summer. The side struggled against Bratislava to play the style of football Enrique demands from his players and paid for it by exiting the competition. However, the deadline day recruits could potentially fill many the cracks in the side that lost in Bratislava and could on muster a 1-1 draw in Roma when a win was needed.
As a product of Barcelona way of playing, Enrique preaches possession football, short passing and sustained pressure coupled with quick, incisive movement from his front men, but there have been questions as to whether Roma possess the players necessary to execute such a technical game plan. In defence, Simon Kjaer adds a dimension that, since the departure of Philippe Mexes, has been conspicuous in its absence. While Gabriel Heinze, Nicolas Burdisso and Juan are fine defenders, none possess skill on the ball and the ability to carry it out of defence to rival Mexes and Kjaer and the latter’s technique will compliment the decidedly no nonsense style of Burdisso.
Similarly, the late additions of Pjanic and Gago add qualities to the midfield perhaps lacking before. Pjanic is an attacking playmaker known for his technical qualities and vision. At just 21, he has almost boundless potential and is an extremely exciting signing for i Lupi. He provides an alternative to Simone Perrotta in the attacking midfield role, offering an entirely different prospect to the veteran Italian who is best known for his great engine and drive. Gago also brings something different and will compete with Daniele De Rossi and David Pizarro for a starting berth in defensive midfield where he simply provides Enrique with more choice.
While Kjaer, Gago and Pjanic all provide technique and composure on the ball, the final deadline day signing brings something altogether different. Fabio Borini joins the club on loan having impressed for Swansea in the English Championship. He offers an option missing from Roma since Vincenzo Montella retired – that of a genuine poacher. He is a quick, intelligent player but, as the cliché goes, really comes alive in the box and is often in the right place at the right time to take advantage of good service or defensive errors.
So despite the early exit from the Europa League and a somewhat difficult pre-season, it seems Enrique’s Roma is slowly but surely taking shape. The side may take time to gel, but with exciting new additions in every position the new Roma are certainly an intriguing prospect for the season ahead.

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