AS Roma: Serie A 2014/15 Season Preview – Iturbe And Former Chelsea Star Complete Puzzle

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Summer signings make Giallorossi capable of challenging for Scudetto and in Europe…

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Despite an impressive first season in Italy last year, a dominant Juventus prevented Rudi Garcia from having the ideal start to life in Serie A with Roma.

The French tactician helped the club accumulate 85 points, which would have been enough to win the Scudetto in five of the previous six years.

However, with the Bianconeri breaking the 100-point mark it wasn’t to be, but the departure of Antonio Conte will undoubtedly make a difference in the title race this time round as despite both squads looking stronger and it may come down to little details from a tactical point of view.

While Mehdi Benatia departed for Bayern Munich this week, the Giallorossi continue to be shrewd in the transfer market by immediately having replacements in mind and making significant profits from their business.

Both Kostas Manolas and Davide Astori will be tasked with filling the void left by the Moroccan international, but the club appear to be in a healthier position both on and off the pitch as a result of their dealings.

In addition, Ashley Cole and Urby Emanuelson were acquired to add quality and depth to the squad, and the former Chelsea veteran in particular will likely be one of the more impressive free transfers this summer.

Much like Maicon, Cole arrives off the back of a disappointing spell on the sidelines and is looking to reignite his career. After spending a season with Garcia and Roma, Maicon forced his way back into the Brazilian set-up at the World Cup, and as a result, his new team-mate will be hoping for a similar upturn in form and fortune.

Moving further afield, Roma boast a highly talented midfield trio in the form of Miralem Pjanic, Daniele De Rossi and Kevin Strootman, but again, they have added real depth to the squad with their Champions League exploits in mind.

The Dutchman is still recovering from a serious knee injury which he suffered last season and will be afforded time to return to full fitness, as the signings of Seydou Keita and Salih Ucan will cover his loss along with January purchase Radja Nainggolan.

Garcia is building a real project in the Italian capital as the majority of his signings are around the same age group and will likely lead Roma forward for years to come. Coupled with experienced heads who are aware of what it takes to win both domestically and in Europe, the capital club have a dangerous mix.

Juan Manuel Iturbe’s signing is perhaps the most high-profile for the club this summer, with the Argentinian impressing for Hellas Verona last season with his vision, acceleration and eye for goal all resulting in lazy comparisons with Lionel Messi.

Nevertheless, he is a talent to watch this season as he continues to develop his game and with Gervinho causing havoc on the other flank, it promises to be a season packed with attacking play and goals.

Mattia Destro was prolific after returning to full fitness last season while Adem Ljacic and Marco Borriello will hope to play a role as rotational players, but Francesco Totti is still proving to be the talismanic leader of this team.

With so many of his generation moving on to pastures new or retiring from the game, Totti continues to fly the flag for the Giallorossi, and although he is coming to the end of his playing career, it is undoubtedly worth appreciating his talent more so now before he decides to hang up his boots.

Key Player This Season: Miralem Pjanic

Most Impressive Transfer This Summer: Juan Manuel Iturbe

Prediction: Serie A – 1st.

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