Look beneath the surface and you’ll discover that AS Roma has a lot of ex-Premier League players now plying their trade for them in Serie A.
Three players whose parent clubs are in England are currently on loan with the Giallorossi this season. A further six have been with Premier League teams in the past, but who are they?
Italy full back Davide Zappacosta joined Roma on loan from Chelsea for the campaign, but was desperately unlucky to sustain a serious knee injury in his first Serie A appearance for them.
French midfielder Jordan Veretotut, on loan in Rome from Fiorentina, endured relegation during his time in England with Aston Villa in 2015-16. His old club are up against it in the scrap for survival once more and odds-on at 8/11 in the latest Premier League betting to go down with bet365.
Manchester United owned defender Chris Smalling has been a real hit in Italy. So much so in fact that Giallorossi boss Paulo Fonseca has said he wants to sign the 30-year-old permanently.
Former Newcastle United full back Davide Santon made his name at Inter Milan before moving to Tyneside in the summer of 2011. Less than four years later, however, he returned to the San Siro in the January transfer window.
The Giallorossi got Santon in a part-exchange deal for Radja Nainggolan back in 2018. He has been in and out of Fonseca’s XI at the Stadio Olimpico this season.
Armenia international winger Henrikh Mkhitaryan, on loan at Roma from Arsenal, was previously with Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund. A versatile player who has also operated in midfield, he has impressed in the Eternal City when fit and Fonseca wants him, alongside Smalling, permanently.
Goalkeeper Pau Lopez has been capped twice for Spain and spent a season on loan at Tottenham Hotspur. He didn’t play for Spurs at all, but has been first choice at the Giallorossi this season in the hope of securing a space in his country’s Euro 2020 finals squad.
Veteran Serbia defender Aleksandar Kolarov was well-known to Italian football fans before returning to Serie A with Roma, because he previously played for city rivals Lazio. In-between those two stints in the Eternal City, he spent seven seasons with Manchester City where he won every major domestic trophy in England.
Argentine centre back Federico Fazio is another former Tottenham player with the Giallorossi. Signed from Sevilla, he didn’t do so well at Spurs and was initially loaned out to Roma in the 2016-17 campaign before making a permanent switch.
Last and by no means least, probably the most ex-Premier League football currently with the Giallorossi is Bosnia striker Edin Dzeko. As Roma’s captain, he is a very popular and respected figure at the club and among fans.
Joining Manchester City after winning the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg, Dzeko netted 50 Premier League goals in four-and-a-half seasons at the Etihad. Like Kolarov, he won every domestic honour available to a top flight team in England and has since been even prolific in Rome.