Saturday, April 21, 2018

Stephan El Shaarawy is just what Luciano Spalletti needs at AS Roma

Milos Markovic in Editorial, Serie A 29 Jan 2016

AS Roma the right move for El Shaarawy? / Image via

AS Roma the right move for El Shaarawy? / Image via

Not long ago considered the next big thing in the Italian football, Stefan El Shaarawy has not lived up to the expectations.

The Italian football player, who began his career in Genoa, was signed by AC Milan in 2011 following a successful loan at Padova.

The Serie A top scorer with 14 goals at the halfway mark in the 2012/13 season will have injuries to blame for lack of football and lack of goals at the delicate moment of his developing days as a professional football player.

El Shaarawy’s career was plagued by injuries which kept him out for almost entire 2013/14 season. A foot injury and an unsuccessful surgery left him in despair, sidelined for much of last season.

His loan to Monaco was supposed to get him back on track, but AC Milan starlet failed to score a goal in 15 Ligue 1 fixtures, before he returned to Italy.

A fresh start

Monaco didn’t want to sign the Pharaoh on permanent basis and El Sharaawy was left standing at the crossroads of his career.

The French club would have been obliged to sign the Italian striker for €13 million had he made 25 appearances for the Ligue 1 side, but they have opted to send him back home after having played 24 games in all competitions.

Out of grace and out of favour at AC Milan, it was important for Shaarawy to make the right move and make the right turn as the 23-year-old forward looks forward to getting his career back on track with Euro 2016 on the horizon.

AS Roma might prove to be just the thing Stefan El Shaarawy needs.

A fresh start in a healthy environment, close to home, at the familiar ground. Luciano Spalletti’s team needs to turn their fortunes around as much as Stefan El Shaarawy does, and their mutual goal can lead them to a successful cooperation.

El Shaarawy arrived in Rome for a loan fee of €1.4 million and AS Roma do have an option to make the deal permanent at the end of the current campaign for €13 million.

A perfect fit

The arrival of Stephan El Shaarawy might be just the piece of the puzzle Spalletti was missing to complete the AS Roma team of his own liking.

Unlike Rudi Garcia, who was mostly using the 4-3-3 formation with Gervinho and Salah supporting Edin Dzeko on the wings, Luciano Spalletti has tried to change the approach and field the team with two strikers.

Spalletti opted to go with Salah and Dzeko upfront against Juventus in an experiment which also saw Nainggolan take Pjanic’s usual place behind the forwards. His decision backfired as neither Salah nor Pjanic were of use in the highly-expected game against the running champions.

With Stephan El Shaarawy, though, AS Roma coach now has the player capable of filling in a number of positions and proving the much needed support to often isolated Edin Dzeko.

The Italian forward is primarily the striker, but he can be deployed as winger as well. Eager to get his career back on track as soon as possible, El Shaarawy made it clear he will not make any demands towards the position in the team.

“I’d rather play on the left wing, but the Coach can also use me as a fifth midfielder, it’s all good. I can also play in the front-two, what’s important is to find consistency, the role isn’t a big problem,” said El Shaarawy.

European ambitions

With his team thinking about European places, that is exactly what El Shaarawy has in mind.

His primary goal is to get back in frame for the Italy national team and the Italian striker is aware that good performances for Giallorossi will keep him in Antonio Conte’s sight.

Some of El Shaarawy’s best performances came in Conte’s 4-4-2 formation and that is another important aspect for analysis, another good indicator that El Shaarawy has made the right choice.

As for AS Roma, they have collected only nine points since the international break in November and their dismal run of form has seen them drop to fifth place at the Serie A standings.

Giallorossi are now 12 points adrift of Napoli at the top and 10 behind Juventus, who occupy the last Champions League direct promotion spot.

Third place and the qualifying Champions League place currently occupied by Fiorentina is six points away and Spalletti’s main aim for the remainder of the season is to get the team in Europe.

AS Roma are looking at the 4/5 odds to finish within the Serie A top 3 teams by the end of the campaign and there is no doubt that Stephan El Sharaawy could play an important part in achieving the aim.


Milos Markovic

Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently and His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.



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