José Mourinho Expounds on Nicolò Zaniolo after Zorya Game

After two consecutive benches, Nicolò Zaniolo started and put on a show against Zorya Luhansk. He had not featured due to a minor calf injury and a tactical shift. Roma now employ a 3-5-2, where he does not have an exact role. He was utilized as a second-striker Thursday, and he thrived.

José Mourinho weighed in on Zaniolo after the game, as La Repubblica transcribed: “I liked his attitude. I expected him to be very involved and the team to support him. He has great potential, but he still has a lot to learn tactically and about his behaviors on the pitch. He has to be more consistent and aware of his talent even during difficult moments where he does not manage to do what he wants.”

The coach stated that Zaniolo is still affected by his consecutive ACL tears: “The major injuries left an emotional scar. At times, negative feelings hamper him, as it happened against Juventus. He had a great performance, then he felt some discomfort in his knee and got scared. He did not play against Venezia because of an ailment. Instead, I thought Eldor Shomurodov would work better in the Genoa game.”

Mourinho denied any tension with the attacker: “There are no issues between us, and we never had an argument in practice as reported. I am here to help him and make him grow. Let us work in peace. I wish the Roma press left him alone, but lies sell more newspapers. Roberto Mancini would be happy too if Zaniolo fully returned to his old self.”