Signing Of the Season: Alex Kolarov; Runner up: Cengiz Under
FEE: 5.5 Million
From: Manchester City
For the signing of the season it was a very difficult one given how well Roma’s young Turkish Talent Under has played during the second half of the season. However on this occasion I think it has to go to Alex Kolarov the Serbian left-back was a revelation in Roma’s back line this season both in the defensive and attacking sense. He made a controversial move to Roma having previously played for Roma’s arch-rivals Lazio several years ago. He joined for 5.5 million from Man City after having won two Premier League titles in England with the citizens. When we first signed him I was not sure whether or not he would be a regular starter for the Roma backline. At the time I thought Hector Moreno who no longer is with the club would have been a better suited person for that role. I was so wrong Alex Kolarov had a career year not only being Roma Defender but he became the League’s best left-back. Not only that but he was in the Champions League team of the season. Despite being 32 years old he showed the world how good he is as he scored three goals this season two of them off of free kicks and another in a crucial Champions League match against Chelsea. He also added 9 assist in the League this season which was a joint best with Radja Nainggolan. Kolarov is approaching his mid-thirties he will be 33 years old next season I am unsure whether he will be able to repeat what he has done this season but I’m very hopeful given how well he is played during this year’s campaign. Without a doubt the signing of the season he edges out Roma’s Turkish youngster for the award. He’s been a revelation this season he’s created great link up play with Edin Dzeko who was his teammate at Man City these guys got right where they left off a few years ago in England. I’m not mistaken I gave him the man-of-the-match award six times this season. He has helped not only in ability but it’s been a great leader for the Romans during this season.
Most Improved: Gerson; Runner up: Juan Jesus
Most improved player this season was not even close for me as of Gerson ran away with it. Despite Juan Jesus making drastic improvements Roma’s young Brazilian finally started to show his potential. A season of the go the young Brazilian Talent Gerson barely even played as he was left out by Luciano Spalletti constantly he was not given the chance an opportunity to prove himself. Under Eusebio di Francesco after being speculated that he would leave on loan Roma’s new manager wanted him to be a part of his first team this season. Gerson made several starts but the majority of the time came off the bench as a vital substitute. He has improved in almost all areas made smarter decisions than he did last year passes with a better percentage is dribbling has drastically improved and in terms of goal scoring he’s finally found the back of the net this season. Against Florentina Roma’s Brazilian youngster found the back of the net twice which turned out to be two important goals in Roma’s 4-2 against Florentina in Florence. He is still an incredibly raw talent but this year he showed promise having just turned 20 years old he still has the ability to tap into his incredible potential that he possesses. This kid only adds to the collection of Roma young Talent that this team possesses. This is a rather deep team for Gerson has made his impact on it throughout the season I think he’s only going to get better next season and I think Roma must hold on to him he has really thrived under Di Francesco and he only will improve on his ability going forward. Drastic improvements made before the season I didn’t know whether he was going to be even good enough to play on the first team and he has proved his worth to this Roma team. I think next year he’s only going to get better and better and you will start to see stardom develop.
Young Player of the Season: Cengiz Under; Runner up Lorenzo Pellegrini
Roma’s young player of the season really was only between Lorenzo Pellegrini and Cengiz Under. While Lorenzo Pellegrini had a fantastic debut campaign and arguably maintained his consistency for a little bit longer. For me it has to be Cengiz Under I’m giving it to the Turkish kid. The Turkish youngster arrived from Istanbul for just 13 million which now seems like absolute pocket change. He was really ineffective for the first half of the Season which was largely due to the fact that he couldn’t speak Italian and it was taking him a while to grasp the new league and a new country. He’s a player that’s often been compared to Juventus Superstar Pablo Dybala the two of them share a lot of similarities. Despite a poor first half of the Season he came alive in the second half of the year as he was Unleashed. In the second half of the season the 20 year old scored eight goals and had five assists to finish off the year. This ultimately added a new dimension to the Rome attack as well as stealing the starting job from El Shaarawy. He brought a new energy and a part of the Roma attack that they didn’t know they had when Dzeko wasn’t having a good game Roma found it very difficult to score goals until the kid arrived. He proved to be an absolute Superstar not only that but he has scored some pretty big goals in some pretty big games. He scored the away goal against Shakhtar Donetsk in his Champions League debut and also had winning goals against Verona ,Udinese and Cagalarli the young Turkish star also supplied the game-winning assist against Barcelona. He is proven week in and week out that he can score in the biggest games. This is only the tip of the iceberg of how good he can be next season he could double his goal total he is now one of the most vital pieces of the Roma attack. So many teams and so many class players have a difficult time in dealing with his speed his pace and his incredible range behind his Wicked left foot. This one was a no-brainer for me as good as Pellegrini has been added Under gave a completely different weapon to Roma. During the second half of the Season he was probably the best player in the league that’s how good this kid can be by next season he at least we’ll be in the conversation for one of the best players at his position. Against Juventus he was giving Alex Sandro an absolute nightmare who is considered one of the best left-backs in the world he ripped through him so easily that just shows how good he is. 8 goals and five assists in half a year is astounding next season I expect him to double on both accounts he is probably one of Romans most important players at the moment and he sounds like someone who wants to be here for a long time he recently said coming to Roma was one of the best decisions ever made he will be an Superstar in the years to come.
Player Of the Season: Alisson Becker; Runner up: Edin Dzeko
The player of the season this year really could have gone to several different players. We saw Alex Kolarov completely changed the offensive Outlet of the Roma defense. Then we saw Edin Dzeko despite dipping off in terms of goals but was one of the best and most efficient Strikers in the Champions League then there is Radja Nainggolan who was the master in the Roma Midfield this season and then finally Roma’s goalkeeper Alisson Becker who at times single-handedly kept them and games. I thought about this long and hard and my player the season this year goes to Alisson Becker. Just a season ago Roma bought him from Brazil. Last year he played backup only playing in the Europa League and the Italian cup but still showed some promise in his 15 appearances. Being behind Szczęsny last year probably was good for him, Szczesny in his two years in Rome was tremendous having won the Golden Glove last year. However this year he made us forget all about him because Allison was just that good. I’m not sure what happened but he just really wanted to show the world what he can do. It could be due to the coaching he received from Di Francesco but he not only exceeded expectations but he became one of the best goalkeepers in the world. This season there has not been a better goalkeeper in Europe. Throughout the season he racked up 23 clean sheets and 155 saves in his 49 games played for Roma. He was tied for second in the league with 17 clean sheets and was without a doubt the best goalkeeper in Italy. He was so good that he has kept Ederson man City’s talented goalkeeper on the bench on Brazil’s national team as Alisson will be Brazil’s number one in the World Cup in Russia. He has made saves that have kept Roma in games. Some even seen just too incredible to be real. This season he’s proven to be the best goalkeeper in the world and until further notice I full heartedly believe that. He’s very much looks like a younger Manuel Neuer Bayern Munich’s goal keeper and one of the greatest ever play this game. He has great jumping ability and reflexes but also is good with a ball at his feet he literally can do everything. He has been a trending interest in the transfer market but Roma stand firm that then goalkeeper is not for sale Roma do not need to sell this summer and they have no intention to sell their star. Real Madrid and Liverpool remain very interested but it’s just not going to happen. He is largely responsible for how good Roma is defense has been this season it’s not just him but his performances in the net has certainly helped Roma’s defense improve. He has been Roma’s best player this season and he’s only going to get better he has all the intangibles to be the world’s best keeper and he’s been such a leader for the team especially in the Champions League. He only cost Roma 8 million last year his value now is over a 100 million he’s quite simply one of the 10 best players in Italian football.
Manager’s Performance: 10/10
The hiring of Eusebio di Francesco is one of the best decisions Roma ever made and I stand by that. This guy is a world-class manager who’s done things in football but even the likes of Pep Guardiola has never done. He took a Sassuolo team that was deep in Serie B Italy to the Europa League with very minimal budget it is truly one of the greatest things we’ve seen in football. The great thing about Di Francesco as he understands the fans concerns he understands the fans passion. Because he himself was a player for this club he was a part of the scudetto winning 2001 Roma team. Not all managers are going to be able to identify with the city and with the club he represents this club he knows this city and the people. Tactically he was a better manager that Luciano Spalletti. I enjoyed his football and I thought the way he plays was more effective. He was very open about everything and did some really incredible tactical things throughout the season. He had a moment of weakness at anfield but other than that his tactics have been spot-on. He operated out of the 4-3-3 for the majority of the season and it worked wonders he didn’t Tinker too much. his rotation of players was brilliant we got to see so many different lineups and rotated them in a way that made Roma incredibly effective. No question in my mind he is the guy who will go for the throne that Juventus have Roma have the manager in place to win the title and I believe under Di Francesco Roma will. He was a huge upgrade in his first season he took a Roma to the Champions League semi-final something that had not been done it since 1983 in his first try he got out of the group that featured Atletico Madrid and Chelsea not only that but in the quarterfinals against Barcelona his tactics unraveled a huge comeback which was one of the biggest upsets in champions league history overturning a 4-1 first leg deficit. People are starting to respect what he can do. He is one of the biggest kept secrets in football I believe that he’s going to end up being one of the best managers in the world. Not only that but he did what is the absolute minimum for a Roma manager he won the Derby against Lazio and it finished above Roma’s Rivals not to mention Roma are back in the Champions League. This was Step 1 but he’s not satisfied he’s going to get this team even further next year it’s not about just getting into the Champions League it’s about chasing down the title and I believed he will do that proved to be a major upgrade over Spalletti.
Goal of The Season: Edin Dzeko vs Chelsea; Runner up: Cengiz Under vs Udinese
There has been 83 goals for Roma in all competitions this season from a multitude of sources the question remains which one was the best. There are three goals in particular that comes to my mind when I think about the best goals that Roma have scored this year. One was much more dramatic than the other two all three are equally impressive. Edin Dzeko incredible volley against Chelsea in the Champions League Cengiz Under slingshot against Udinese. As well as Radja Nainggolan deep strike against Liverpool in the Champions League semi-final. I am basing this purely off of how great the goal is not the intensity and the drama of the moment. If it was Kostas Manolas goal against Barcelona would have won easily. The three candidates I have picked were all incredible goals. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be because each goal provided something excellent all great finishes all possessed that something else. But after careful consideration the goal of the Year for me is Edin Dzeko a volley against Chelsea. It was one of those goals where you almost don’t believe it actually happened. The pass the finish everything about this goal was perfect not to mention that Roma were behind at the time. Edin Dzeko during that night at Stamford Bridge came life he was just next level in this game absolutely world class. The goal itself was just unreal down in the game Federico Fazio sent an absolute world-class ball from the center of the field into Chelsea’s danger area. Edin Dzeko ran down-filled and caught it on the end of his foot in the Box smashing it in the back of the net. It came together so perfectly it was one of the best goals and moments in Roma entire season it was just a world-class goal everything about it the past was good the touch was good and the celebration was mental. It was one of those goals the ends up on goal compilations that’s how good this strike was. I cannot say enough about this goal everything was perfect it was the definition of perfection.