The month of January has all about wrapped up. It’s that time of the month when we recognize Roma’s best performer in the month of January. It has been a up and down month for Roma. Some great positivity and some unbearable negativity. A shorter month as Roma only played four games in January. This was largely because Roma and all of Italian football had two weeks off for winter break. Roma returned to action on January 14th as they battled Virtus in the round of 16 of the Coppa Italia. The big storyline was the the return to Nicolo Zaniolo who played his youth career with the Serie C side. It was the Cinderella Story in the Italian Cup against one of the favorites. This match was very much the Patrik Schick game. He gave Roma the lead in 19 seconds added another in the second half as well put in together an incredible assist in what was a two-goal one assist performance. Roma went on to win 4-0 in a game that featured several players that do not normally start games for Roma. That match was followed by a battle with very strong Torino team. It turned out to be an incredible five-goal Thriller. Nicolo Zaniolo scored one of the best goals you will see this season to give Roma the lead Alex Kolarov ended up converting from the spot to open up a two-goal lead. Torino ended up coming back to equalize making 2-2 with not much time remaining on the next opportunity Roma had El Shaarawy scored the winner late in the second half to conserve a hard-fought 3 point in what was a 3-2 to Victory. At this point Roma had won four consecutive games and we saw them playing the best football of the season. This is where things started to crumble. Away against Atalanta despite Edin Dzeko’s Rejuvenation with two first-half goals Roma ultimately opened up a three-goal deficit. A deficit they lost as Atalanta came back hit them in the mouth. It turned out to be a 3-3 draw but it was a match that more or less felt like a loss a complete a breakdown and collapse. Then what followed was the worst performance Roma have displayed in 5 years. In the Coppa Italia quarterfinals in Florence Roma got completely and utterly embarrassed and annihilated. As Federico Chiesa and Florentina crushed Roma in a 7-1 loss. The worst part of all as Edin Dzeko got a red card for allegedly spitting at the ref and could miss a chunk of time with what should be a lengthy ban. The consensus over the last month is that maybe Eusebio di Francesco era in Rome could be coming to an end. However despite the disappointment there have been some pretty spectacular induvial performances over the last four games.
Nominee: Edin Dzeko
The third-place nominee for player of the month goes to Edin Dzeko. Even though his nomination is based off one game it was an incredible performance. Edin Dzeko has dealt with some injuries this season and has not really been all that consistent in the league. Going into the month of January he only had two goals in the league. He ended up getting a start against Atalanta and took full advantage of it. In the opening minutes Edin Dzeko found the back of the nest for the first time since October. Perfectly putting away a one-on-one chance to give Roma to lead. Using some real intelligence and Technical ability he scored a second goal making a move around the goalkeeper only to put it in the back of the net. Despite the 3-3 draw it was a completely dominating performance by Roma’s Bosnian Striker. He truly appeared to be back in full swing. He scored twice in the match he made some more history. With 82 goals he moved past Marco Delvecchio to become Roma 8th highest scorer in club history. Of course his Month ended with a red card after a spitting incident last night and it likely could keep him out for several games due to the suspension he will receive. However prior to his misbehavior he had a spectacular game as he has done enough to be nominated for player of the month. With a lack of time and what occurred yesterday he missed out on a winning the player of the month
Runners Up: Stephen El Shaarawy
The runner-up for Roma’s player the month of January goes to Stephan El Shaarawy. If I’m being honest it was very difficult to decide because he did a lot of great things in the short amount of time that’s he could have quite easily won this again. El Shaarawy played an important impactful roles and that nearly every match he played this month. I don’t think it’s fair to say he’s solely responsible but he played a huge factor in Roma winning against Torino. In the Torino match Roma’s most explosive player Cengiz Under injured his thigh in what looked like a hamstring in the opening minutes of the match. Stephan El Shaarawy ultimately was thrown into the fire having to replace him after just a few minutes. Prior to that he had just returned from an injury himself. He played exceptionally well especially in getting in position and creating opportunities for teammates. But most importantly he came through in the game’s most important moment. Having seen Torino just equalize El Shaarawy took his moment and delivered for his team. Just a few minutes after conceding a goal El Shaarawy found a way and scored the winning goal. To avoid what would have been a collapse. He met eyes with a Lorenzo Pellegrini got himself in perfect position and finished off the chance to score the winning goal. He was absolutely spectacular in that match having to come on early and when you were not expected to start and being able to perform like he did was incredible. Against Atalanta he found his feet again scoring in consecutive games. On a counter-attack he made his move around a Defender before smashing the ball into the back of the net. He is the team’s second-leading scorer with seven goals almost two years to the day Stephan El Shaarawy first joined Roma he has been such an asset to this team and this season if he’s at his very best and can stay healthy he will win this award again but this month he fell a little short.
Winner: Nicolo Zaniolo
Finally the player the months goes to Roma’s teenage sensation Nicolo Zaniolo. Every month he is progressing more and more into a superstar. He is truly one of the best young prospects in Italian football and is the future of the Italian national team. Roma really got a special player quite easily the best summer transfer this season. He only played a little bit against his former team in a round of 16 and the Coppa Italia. He made some impact but not a drastic one that would come the following week. Against Torino he scored one of the best goals we have seen this season. In a game in which Roma needed something he supplied it after seeing Cengiz Under injured the young Italian almost immediately delivered. As the nineteen-year-old scored a world-class goal. From the ground he fired a shot and then went back to the ground to hit it a second time. From the floor he hit a perfectly-placed bullet into the top corner to give Roma the lead. He was spectacular this month it would be his only goal of that game but he proved how incredible he after an incredibly different goal from a near impossible angle. He is he is just something special. In the following game against Atalanta it wasn’t his scoring that caught the eye it was his vision and passing. He assisted Edin Dzeko on the opening goal after putting his head through a perfectly hit cross from Kolarov he perfectly placed the ball in the box where Dzeko was able score on a one-on-one situation. His header allow the separation from the defense allowing the big Bosnian hitman to have a very clean look at goal. He also assisted El Shaarawy on Roma third goal. Despite the results a two assist performance in the first half he continues to display how special this kid is. Roma have something unbelievable at the their disposal. He has developed and improved every game and shown he is a leader and a hugely important player for Roma season. He reminds me of Francesco Totti he’s got size speed and it’s incredibly intelligent for such a young kid he is going to lead this club for the next 10 years he will be a Roma icon there’s no way Roma will let this kid go no matter the money. After a very impressive opening few months he deserves recognition as he was the best player in the month of January and I only see him continuing to improve as the season progresses.