Since arriving during the summer Mohamed Salah has taken Rome by storm
The Egyptian winger has scored a total of 6 goals between the Champions League and Serie A. Unfortunately for him and Roma, he picked up an injury in the Rome Derby which will see him sit on the sidelines for about a month. Considering Roma have some big matches, this is a huge loss for them. Losing a player who’s been as important as Salah has been is never good news. But Roma have depth and it’ll be tested. Today we’ll look ways Roma could play without him and which players could step up.
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Juan Iturbe: The Paraguayan, who has only clogged up just over 200 minutes for Roma this season (only one start) will see this as his chance to shine. Iturbe will bring a like for like swap for Salah, and could offer what Salah does. This would be the basic 4-3-3 formation with Iturbe on the right side cutting inside on his left foot. Iturbe has the pace, quickness, agility and shot. The 22 year old is running out of the time to prove himself in Rome. This could be the chance that he has been desperately been waiting for.
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Iago Falque: Another left footer. With Iago Falque you have tons of options. You can resort to a 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1. Or you can keep in simple in the 4-3-3 with him on his favoured right side. Last season at Genoa he scored 13 goals playing on the right side in a trident. What he’ll bring is that finishing touch that Salah had. He won’t bring the pace that he has but Iago will bring balance to the team and creativity to the attack. Someone who can drop deep, pick up the ball and make a play. Falque is incredibly talented technically. He’s been Mr. reliable for Garcia this season and could add to that name by stepping in for Salah.
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Alessandro Florenzi: The Italy international can play anywhere. With Florenzi you get balance like with Falque. You get somebody who can throw in dangerous crosses on the right flank to Dzeko. You could play either a basic 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1, 4-3-1-2 or of course the 4-3-3. With the 4-3-1-2 you could place Florenzi in the 3 man midfield with De Rossi and Nainggolan with Pjanic playing behind Gervinho and Dzeko. Florenzi could give Garcia so many options. The problem that arises is Florenzi might be needed in the defence. With Maicon’s fitness problems and Torosidis’ lack of skill, it puts Garcia in a situation which forces him to use Florenzi as a right back, where he’s developed nicely.
Francesco Totti: Il Capitano. The Eternal Captain. We must not forget Totti. As he gets set to make his return, why shouldn’t be considered? With Totti you play a completely different game compared to the 3 other players I mentioned. This would make Garcia switch to a 4-3-1-2 which will see Totti play in his classic #10 role behind Dzeko and Gervinho. This will allow Roma to keep the 3 man midfield of De Rossi, Nainggolan and Pjanic. This formation will allow Roma to dominate possession and have massive creativity with Totti and Pjanic, which could do Dzeko and the in form Gervinho a lot of favours. In the 13/14 season we saw this a lot with Totti playing behind Destro and Gervinho, it worked out well for Garcia. Totti would bring a sense of calmness and leadership to the attack. With Totti making his return and Salah out injured, we definitely could see the Roma legend take his place.
These are the options that Garcia has to replace Salah. All offer something different. Iturbe’s pace, Falque’s scoring touch, Florenzi’s balance and Totti’s intelligence. Garcia will have a chance to test his depth with Salah out. The options are there. Which Roma player will step in place of Salah?