Roma has officially started its second half of pre-season training, taking 23 players to Irdning, Austria. New manager Zdenek Zeman has made it clear who’s in his plans for the upcoming campaign and who’s not. Seven players were left behind to make room for new arrivals Mattia Destro , Federico Balzaretti, Michael Bradley and Rodrigo Piris.
Gabriele Heinze, Aleandro Rosi, David Pizarro, Marco Borriello, Jose Angel, Stefano Okaka and World Cup winning midfielder Simone Perrotta were all excluded from the trip to Austria. With Heinze, Rosi and Angel potentially on the way out, Zeman could be in the market for defenders. Heinze should have no problem finding suitors. The former Manchester United and Real Madrid defender reportedly has Bologna and Olympiakos after his services, while Benfica is closing in on a transfer for Angel. AC Milan might be a destination for Pizarro. With the departures of Seedorf and Gattuso, Pizarro could fill the void as a holding midfielder that the Rossoneri desperately lack while adding creativity at the same time.
Since taking over Rome in June, Zeman has made a immediate switch from former manager Luis Enrique’s tactics. Zeman will focus on outscoring opponents using his traditional 4-3-3 formation. Roma netted 60 goals and conceded 54 during last years campaign while finishing seventh in the table. The arrival of Balzaretti, Dodô and Leandro Castan will benefit the back line, but the loss of Fabio Borini will put a lot of pressure on Destro to score goals. Borini found the back of the net nine times last year in 24 games, causing Zeman to find a suitable replacement. Emmanuel Clottey has been mentioned as a possibility, the 24-year-old has scored 11 goals in the CAF Champions League this season for Berekum Chelsea.
The most important move for Roma during the transfer market is the addition of Michael Bradley. The 25-year-old adds an energetic presence in the midfield, which earned him the nickname “The General”. Bradley’s ability to control the midfield could lead to the revitalization of Francesco Totti, who managed just eight goals under Enrique. With Totti’s return to form and with the right support, Roma could return to the top of the table and that’s exactly what Zeman is planning.