Marash Kumbulla was recently called upon to replace Roger Ibanez in Roma’s starting eleven and provided precious defensive coverage in two consecutive starts for the Giallorossi. This was the first time this season that the Albanian centreback saw considerable minutes under Jose Mourinho.
Last season, Kumbulla emerged as the sole survivor from the harsh 6-1 defeat to Bodo/Glimt which marked the end for several other players involved in the infamous debacle such as Gonzalo Villar, Amadou Diawara, Borja Mayoral, Riccardo Calafiori and Bryan Reynolds. All – except Kumbulla – were pushed out of the club within the next few months.
According to Corriere dello Sport, Kumbulla has earned Mourinho’s respect through hard work despite limited playing time. The Portuguese technician praised him after Roma’s recent win over Fiorentina and is expected to rely on him more as the season progresses.