Zbigniew Boniek: “Zaniolo should play as a striker.”

Andy Mattioli

Former Roma midfielder and UEFA director Zbigniew Boniek discussed Roma’s summer plans including Zaniolo’s future, the evolution of Nicola Zalewski and more.

“Zaniolo is a very good player,” he told Il Messaggero. “I know I may be in the minority when I say this but I still think that the boy can perform at his best as a center forward.”

“He is the classic number 9, he is someone who does not want to give the ball and loves going one on one. He’s good at heading the ball, he’s fast, powerful and loves the sight of goal.”

“When he plays on the left or right he loses a lot of strength due to clashes with opponents. If I look at Vlahovic and Zaniolo, I see many similar characteristics.”

“I don’t know if he is a player who can make a substantial contribution to the team throughout the entire year, but he seems to have overcome his physical problems. I like the player very much and the team needs at least 16/18 starters.”

“Perhaps I would be willing to sell him for the right offer, but I should be inside the club to know the economic situation better. Only by doing so I would be able to judge the situation clearly.”

“It is therefore not easy to say and if you sell him you have to somebody better than him and I don’t know if it would cost much less.”

On Zalewski, Boniek added, “He is a player who has matured a lot, and represents a very prospect, but he has to make further leaps in quality.”

“This year he has expressed himself in the best possible way on the left wing as a full-back, but next season this position will be reserved for Spinazzola.”

“He will have to be good at carving out another role for himself. He can play right back, left and right midfielder and could also play in the middle of the pitch in the future. If his footballing and mental growth head in the right direction, Roma could benefit greatly from it.”

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MatchDay 26
26 Feb 18:30