Kumbulla contends starting spot with Ibañez

Marash Kumbulla of AS Roma celebrates after scoring

Marash Kumbulla’s recent rise in Mourinho’s defensive hierarchy corresponded with Roger Ibañez having suffered a knee injury that kept him sidelined for the past month and a half.

The Brazilian centre-back recently returned to the starting eleven in Roma’s league draw to Udinese, when Kumbulla was out due to suspension. Ibañez was then given a chance to start in the Derby della Capitale.

According to Corriere dello Sport, the two centre-backs will continue to contend their starting spot alongside Chris Smalling and Gianluca Mancini until the end of this year’s campaign.

After being for the majority of the first half of the season, Kumbulla is likely to start more often as the season winds down with opportunities to perform in Roma’s Conference League campaign.

The final weeks could reportedly prove decisive in determining the future of both players ahead of the summer transfer window.

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