Roma Mulling Over Future of Young Defender Dismissed by Mourinho

Marash Kumbulla has been one of the Roma players that had more difficulties to open the season. He struggled mightily in the shocking loss to Bodo/Glimt, with opposing strikers slipping behind him at will. He was one of the five backups that José Mourinho sent to the stands versus Napoli. Amadou Diawara, Borja Mayoral, Bryan Reyolds, and Gonzalo Villar faced the same punishment. The coach stated it would be hard for him to forgive them for what happened in Norway.

However, Kumbulla had a strong showing with Albania during the second international break. Coach Edy Reja heaped high praise on him: “He guarded Robert Lewandowski with impressive maturity. He has no issues facing physical strikers. He is visibly growing.” Roma signed him from Verona for nearly €30M after a breakout season.

Mourinho has given him just 193 minutes so far, only in Conference league, even though Chris Smalling has missed a lot of time with injuries. Roma are hoping the situation could improve to have a positive return on their sizeable investment. The club would have to take a major financial loss if they decided to completely move on from him in January, Tuttomercatoweb reports. A loan spell elsewhere is significantly more likely.

Kumbulla had featured in 28 matches with Paulo Fonseca at the helm. However, the previous gaffer often used a three-man defense, the same system where the youngster blossomed at Verona. He has not publicly complained about the role: “I am always at the squad and coach’s disposal,” he stated recently.