Former Roma midfielder Stefano Embalomeni believes Nicolo Zaniolo will remain in Serie A despite interest from the Premier League and Tottenham Hotspur in speaking to Totomercatup.
The presence of Zaniolo on Jose Mourinho’s squad sheet during last weekend’s friendly between Tottenham and Roma certainly added an interesting subplot to the proceedings.
The Italy international, a long-term target of Tottenham manager Fabio Paratici, is back in the rumor columns with a vengeance this summer.
According to reports from the Continent, an initial bid of £30m for the London giants has been rejected. Roma want nearly £42m for their rebellious striker. And if the Gazzetta dello Sport is to be believed, Tweetham used that friendly as an opportunity to turn Zaniolo’s head. Whether the plan worked, well only time will tell.
Impallomeni, who began his career at Stadio Olimpico in the 1980s, is convinced Zaniolo still has a future in the capital despite the former Inter Milan youngster’s reluctance to deal with a new deal.
Roma or Tottenham for Nicolo Zaniolo?
“I don’t know. I don’t know,” Empalomeni said when asked if he could see Zaniolo leaving Roma for Tottenham.
“After that, I don’t know if he will play at the top four, in addition to (Genny) Wijnaldum. I see it as difficult (to get all the strikers in Mourinho’s squad). Who is the better player. High competitiveness.”
“Zaniolo has overcome two serious injuries. He is a good professional but now is the time to be great.”
One of the most talented Italian footballers of his generation rebounded strongly from a second injury in the AFC Champions League in 2021/22, one of his eight goals in all competitions to seal Roma’s first European title in more than 60 years at the expense of Feyenoord.
“Zaniolo has unbelievable potential,” says Serie A legend Zbigniew Bunic, who believes the 23-year-old has a future as a striker rather than a dynamic attacking midfielder.
“If you ask people about his position, everyone will give you a different answer. From my point of view, he is a classic number nine. He can protect the ball, has physical strength, manages defenders well, is good in the air and can shoot.
“I always say when I see (Juventus Dusan) Vlahovic playing that Zaniolo can do just as well. Maybe better, because he also has that physical strength. He is really a great player.”
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