After making sure that Edin Dzeko would still lead the attack with an extension, quashing Inter’s pursuit, Roma changed the back-up striker as they acquired Nikola Kalinic from Atletico Madrid and shipped Patrick Schick to Leipzig and also strengthened their thin front-line by adding Henryk Mkhitaryan from Arsenal. Both newcomer joined on a initial loan.
Mkhitaryan has already appeared three times with the Gunner this season and logged nine goals and 13 assists in his two seasons in London. Prior to that, he spent two years at Manchester United, where he was slightly more productive.
The 30-year-old Armenian star is best known for his Borussia Dortmund days, but he never quite got back to that level in Premier League. Roma were at least one man short up front, especially after losing Diego Perotti to a two-month injury, and will be helped by the versatility of Mkhitaryan, who can play on either flank and as trequartista. If he shows well enough, he could easily take over as left winger over the inconsistent Justin Kluivert.
Kalinic returns to Italy after just one season in Spain, where played 24 times and scored just four goals. He had joined the Colchoneros from Milan, where he had an unsatisfactory season with six goals in 41 appearances. In the Peninsula, he had his best seasons in Fiorentina between 2015 and 2017, notching 20 goals, 15 in the league, in his most productive campaign.
The 31-year-old Croatian is pretty different from Dzeko, as he is more suited for a quick style where he is able to attack the open spaces and challenge the offside trap. The two will be easily be able to pair up in situation when they desperately need to score, although the hierarchy is pretty clear.
Schick had a very tough time in the Italian capital as he never managed to establish himself as a real threat to Dzeko nor he won over the various coaching staffs enough to convince them to try a scheme that would feature both, which would have probably helped him since at Sampdoria he had success as second-striker.
The Czech forward was acquired in 2017 after his proposed move to Juventus was called off after the medical and was acquired with a very convoluted formula, which will see Roma give part of the money coming from the sale to the Blucerchiati. The final price tag should fall around €30M, while the German got him on a straight loan. He notched eight goals in 58 appearances with La Lupa.
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