Edin Džeko has been linked with so many alternative locations and concerned in a lot controversy this season that it’s been exhausting to maintain observe.
In September, he was so near becoming a member of Juventus that he momentarily stopped taking part in for Roma. In January, there was a supposed swap deal arrange with Inter Milan for Alexis Sánchez.
Then got here a falling out with coach Paulo Fonseca that resulted in him being stripped of Roma’s captaincy.
However Džeko by no means left the Italian capital, and now he’s going again to his former residence metropolis in England to steer the Giallorossi in opposition to Manchester United within the first leg of the Europa League semifinals on Thursday.
“There have been loads of highs and lows this season. I had some powerful occasions personally as a consequence of loads of issues however I don’t prefer to look again. What occurred occurred,” Džeko stated just lately.
“We have to look ahead. We’re within the semifinals, which lots of people didn’t count on. We’ve bought to take pleasure in ourselves, as a result of it’s not each week that you just get to play at Previous Trafford,” he added.
Džeko, although, is aware of what it means to go to United as an opponent. He did it for 5 seasons with Manchester Metropolis earlier than becoming a member of Roma in 2015 — and scored six targets within the Manchester derby.
“Since I left Manchester Metropolis six years in the past, I’ve by no means been again,” Džeko informed UEFA.com. “It will likely be a particular sport for me, because it was a derby for me till a couple of years in the past.”
The return of Smalling and Mkhitaryan
Two different Roma gamers, defender Chris Smalling and midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, beforehand performed for United.
Smalling joined Roma on mortgage in 2019 after 9 years with Manchester United and made the transfer everlasting final yr after a robust first season at Roma.
Whereas Smalling missed the quarterfinals in opposition to Ajax, he’s anticipated to take over in protection for the suspended Gianluca Mancini within the first leg.
As for Mkhitaryan, who like Smalling performed on the United staff that received the Europa League in 2017, he is also working his method again into kind following damage.
For Roma followers, the sport presents an opportunity for revenge following a 7-1 rout by United at Previous Trafford within the 2006-07 Champions League — a sport that present United supervisor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer performed in.
With that sport in thoughts, Giallorossi supporters have seized on current feedback from Solskjaer, who reportedly stated that he “doesn’t know Roma nicely” and hadn’t seen them play.
Roma followers responded by pasting posters of Solskjaer round their metropolis accompanied by a message: “Make it so he remembers us!”