New Roma defender Federico Fazio believes he has the characteristics to thrive in Serie A after struggling to adapt to English football during a miserable spell with Tottenham.
The Argentine joined the Italian giants on a season-long loan with an option to buy this month after featuring just 20 times for Tottenham in the Premier League following a debut red card in a 4-1 defeat to Manchester City.
The 29-year-old also failed to make an impact after re-joining former club Sevilla in January but remains in no doubt that he can adapt to the notoriously pragmatic Serie A, as well as Roma coach Luciano Spalletti’s desire to switch between a three- and four-man defence.
“All leagues have different characteristics,” Fazio said at his official presentation. “I believe that Serie A better suits my characteristics, so I’m not worried about settling here.
“I have no problem playing in a back three or a four. I can play on the right or the left.”
Roma travel to Estadio do Dragao to face Porto in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier on Wednesday after finishing third in Serie A last season, winning 14 of 19 league games after Spalletti replaced Rudi Garcia in January.
And Fazio is in no doubt about the size of the task facing his fellow defenders.
“It’s a two-legged tie, a difficult and delicate challenge for us,” he said.
“It’s great to play in the Champions League and we must try to reach this goal. The group knows this. In the first leg, it will be especially important not to concede a goal.”
Meanwhile, Roma CEO Mauro Baldissoni played down suggestions that the capital club could sell highly rated 22-year-old midfielder Leandro Paredes, linked with the likes of Leicester City, Manchester United and Liverpool after an excellent loan spell at Empoli last season.
“It’s true that other teams like him,” Baldissoni said. “We consider him an excellent player. Paredes is a Roma player and we believe he will remain a Roma player.”