Roma had a very eventful last couple of days of the transfer window. The transfer window closed last week as Roma completed a couple of deals, both coming in and going out as they added a few more pieces to set them up for the rest of the season. It has been abundantly clear so far this season that Roma was in desperate need of a backup Striker. The concern was that Roma would not have enough time to get a deal done. For most of the transfer window, it is something that Roma ignored. Roma was linked to Milik, but that was not for the pure intention of a backup Striker. There is more life in that particular deal, but Roma needed a little more depth. It wasn’t just a backup Striker that Roma was looking for in that need it was also about a player that can potentially take over as a starter for Edin Dzeko eventually. The Bosnian is one of Roma’s greatest Center forwards in club history, but it’s having a horrific run of form, having missed chances in each of Roma’s opening 3 games. Dzeko still does a lot of things tremendously well, but he has really struggled with in front of goal. They entered negotiations with Real Madrid Striker Borja mayoral a couple of days before the transfer window officially closed. They were also trying to negotiate with Luka Jovic as an alternative, but mayoral has been Roma’s preference from the very beginning of these negotiations. Roma, we’re looking to bring someone in that could potentially start many games this season and a player that is coming in to be a rotational starter, occasional starter, and a spark plug coming off the bench. Eventually, Real Madrid and Roma came to an agreement with a two-year loan with an option to buy. This is the interesting part of this Roma can complete this deal for 15 million after the first year or 20 million after the second year. Borja Mayoral has signed a contract in principle until 2025 should Roma activate the purchase option, which is very likely. Borja Mayoral has spent the last two seasons on loan at Levante. He scored nine goals last season; the 23-year-old has yet to enter his prime as he has age on his side. Now he’s in a situation that will be beneficial for Roma because they desperately need a striker. Mayoral will have an opportunity to make a Major Impact this season. He arrived in Rome last week before completing his move to Roma; he is eager and excited about this new challenge.
Exactly What Roma needed
Roma would have been close to hopeless have they been unable to give this deal across the line. Regardless of what their intentions are of this deal, Roma would have had to go in through the rest of the season, at least until January, without a backup Striker. Obviously, getting the Chris Smalling deal across the line has been Roma’s main priority all summer, but given the form of edin Dzeko, this was a type of deal that had to be completed before the deadline passed. Roma was in dire need of this position not only because edin Dzeko was there only functioning Striker that they have to their disposal but because the Bosnian has really struggled in front of goal this season. As I mentioned, he has missed big chances in all of Romans games this season. He should already have at the very minimum three goals this season. I don’t want to bring up the old wounds, but I have to highlight this again. Against Juventus, a match in which Roma outplayed the defending champions for all 90 minutes, edin Dzeko had a pair of golden opportunities to put the game away. Roma up to that point in that game we’re leading 2-1 edin Dzeko had a perfect one on one with the goalkeeper. He took his time; he maneuvered around Defenders and just lacked the finishing touch. Then on another one-on-one in front of go in that same game, he failed once again. Then against Udinese, a perfect cross from Rodger Ibanez and excellent control and a touch of edin Dzeko in a one-on-one, he blasted it over the bar. Roma’s lack of surplus of options at this position is needed, and these moments highlighted it. Edin Dzeko will eventually get back into form, but Roma does not have the luxury to wait until that happens. This is why signing Borja mayoral is exactly what Roma needed to do. Roma needed at least another player capable of that position. Milik could arrive in January that will give Roma another Striker on top of what they have, but Roma needs to outlast themselves until then. Edin Dzeko is one of the best Center forwards Roma has ever had. Last season even though he missed a lot of big changes, he scored 19 goals supplying 13 assists. In many aspects, edin Dzeko is world-class; his link-up play, passing, and all-around game make him such a threat and a problem for so many teams; however, his finishing has been horrific this season. He has done everything all this season except finishing off chances. Roma quite honestly could have nine points if it wasn’t for the inability to finish from edin Dzeko. Edin Dzeko will eventually get back into good form, but Roma doesn’t have time to waste. Roma rightfully evaluated other options not necessarily to replace him but to give Roma depth that can help them along the way. Roma may look at Borja mayoral as an eventual replacement for edin Dzeko; hopefully, the new signing will push edin Dzeko to perform at a higher standard.
Two Striker System Could Help Mayoral and Dzeko
Edin Dzeko is one of the best Center forwards that have ever put on the Roma shirt. Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying; he is a club Legend and the fourth-highest score in club history by the end of the season. He will be inside the top three; however, Roma must look to the Future. This signing makes complete sense for multiple reasons. This isn’t a deal that should threaten edin Dzeko for being replaced inside the Roma lineup on top of everything else. edin Dzeko probably does not view it this way; he just needs to try to recapture his form; maybe benching him for a couple of games isn’t the worst idea in the world, but he’s still likely to be starting up top for Roma this season. Initially, the idea was to bring and Borja Mayoral, who can act as a backup Striker to give Roma some depth that could be part of the strategy, but it’s not the only way Roma can see this situation going. Paulo Fonseca has discussed the possibility of moving into a different formation, making a slight modification that will allow Borja Mayoral to get solid game time and potentially help Edin Dzeko get back on the right track. It has been discussed it will be the possibility of going to a two Striker system. This will help both parties play at a much higher level. edin Dzeko is struggling, and he did miss some big chances last year as well as a lot of them this year. However, the Crux of the matter is edin Dzeko doesn’t always work inside of the one Striker formation. Don’t get me wrong, edin Dzeko scored 19 goals last season as a lone Striker, but he operates at a much higher level in a 2 Striker system or a front three. The greatest year of his career was in Roma’s record-breaking season with Mohamed Salah and Stephan El Shaarawy; they played a front three that year, and edin Dzeko scored 39 goals, the highest of his career. Going back to Wolfsburg with one of the best strike partnerships in the history of the Bundesliga edin, Dzeko and Grafite ripped the league apart largely using a 2 Striker system. In his Man City days, he often was operating in a similar system with Sergio Aguero. The worst season of his career, at least in Europe, was using a one Striker system. Last season he was pretty accommodating with it, but at the same time, once again, I’ll mention this he just is a player that works better with a system that supplies more than one Striker. The partnership or potential Partnership of Edin Dzeko and Borja Mayoral may actually be able to help each other. For one, it could help mayoral get out there and hit the ground running in Italian football while being alongside edin Dzeko; this tactical change could potentially get the Bosnian back on track in front of goal. Obviously, he’s got to do better finishing off his chances, and that’s something you can’t get away from in a new formation; he may have similar issues, but this type of setup is likely to be much more useful for edin Dzeko. It is unclear whether they’ll make this change or how soon they will change. Given the form of that Dzeko is in, i’d switch the formation right away if not, Roma should throw Mayoral out vs. Benevento. The Spaniard is only 23 years old, had 9 La Liga goals last season as incredibly quick, and has a certain sense of athleticism; he’s a player that is capable of scoring 10 to 12 goals this season. I think the two of them would actually complement each other really well. Dzeko is a hold-up player who often can dictate the Midfield spread the ball out, and sees the field incredibly well, while Borja Mayoral is an athletic Striker that does a lot of running, especially in attacking scenarios; they will primarily benefit from this on the counter-attack given the speed of them. Dzeko does a lot of great things well, he does not operate that well on the counter because he is not that quick in comparison. Going to this system would allow both players to thrive as a Duo in a two Striker system. I think the signing will help edin Dzeko get back on the right track and allow Borja Mayoral to get off to a hot start. Also, Stephan El Shaarawy and Milik both could join in January, allowing a potential strike Partnership of Dzeko and Milik or Mayoral and Milik; however, Borja Mayoral will have opportunities to start games in this formation. Regardless of what moves are going to make in January, he’s a good signing to have off the bench and could see him as a starter as well as giving the team some depth; whatever they do, the approach applying them together probably gives Roma the best chance for success, but none, the less Roma, get depth in a position of need that will help Roma in a multitude of ways the rest of the season.
Mayorel on Dzeko: “Sure. Why not? I know what sort of footballer Dzeko is and he’s a different player to me. Why shouldn’t we be able to play together up front? Besides, having two strikers with different skill sets can come in very handy. I think we complement each other. I don’t see myself as his understudy or his reserve. We’re both strikers. I’ve come here with an incredible desire to do well and help Roma achieve their goals. Obviously I’m also here to learn from Dzeko because he’s a great player with loads of experience, but I’m sure there’ll be healthy competition between us.”
Youth and a Bargin
The other intriguing part of this deal is Roma now have youth at the striker position. Borja mayoral is only 23 years old and doesn’t turn 24 until April. It’s unclear what the Roma situation will be with potentially signing Milik in January or at the beginning of next summer. Edin Dzeko seems to be on his last legs and will probably not be Roma’s central Striker for that much longer. Maybe two years at the most. The youngster has age on his side. With the right development, he could eventually overtake edin Dzeko as the starter at Roma’s striker position if they don’t play together, maybe as soon as this season, depending on whether or not edin Dzeko improves. His age primarily plays into Roma’s favor, given the price that surrounds this deal. He isn’t even close to reaching what he’s capable of in Roma. This club has gotten the best out of players like Federico Fazio, Chris Smalling, Mohamed Salah, Diego Perotti, and Stephan El Shaarawy, and many others. In this team, Roma’s new Striker can grow into a player capable of scoring 10 goals this season. If he is given time, he could potentially score a career-high this season. He scored nine goals last year for Levante and 5 the season before in his two-years on-loan there. He even had a seven Goal season with Real Madrid; there’s no denying he can take that next step. I believe he will do this wearing the Roma shirt. As far as the price goes, Roma looked like they have found a bargain deal. It only costs the club a minimal amount. On a two-year loan, Roma can make this permanent at 15 million after this season and 20 million after next season it is highly likely he makes the permanent move in this season even if he doesn’t have the best season, but if he is somewhat productive 15 million for a striker, it’s such a small price to pay just from a financial and youth perspective Roma looked to have gotten a bargain.
“Over the summer my agent told me that Roma and lots of other clubs were interested in me but I was especially intrigued and convinced by Roma. Real would have preferred for me to stay with them but they let me leave in the end and the conversations with Guido and the boss were key. I want to thank Real Madrid for allowing me to join the club I wanted to be at I told the club I want to leave as soon as possible. Then there was a meeting with Zidane in which he said he wanted to keep me so I ended up staying longer, but I still wanted to leave because I felt sure I’d have more chances to play and develop elsewhere. I guess the club listened to Zidane’s request and tried to keep me. Perhaps they did intend to let Jovic leave but in the end it worked out for me. I spoke to Zidane in his office and explained to him how important it was for me to be able to accept this offer – not miss the train, so to speak – because a club of Roma’s calibre was after me. I felt it was a great opportunity for me to play and improve my game.”