Turkish Football News

Cengiz Under continues to shine at Roma

Cengiz Under continues to shine at Roma

Turkish international Cengiz Under continues to develop into a star as he leads the forward line at Roma.

When Roma travel to Anfield on Tuesday evening they will need no motivation to knock Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool out of the Champions League.

The years 1984, 2001 and 2002 all bring back bad memories for Roma supporters, and they will be looking to write a new chapter in their European history at the expense of their old foes.

But one extra motivating factor will be that they will come face-to-face with the man who left them last summer, Mohamed Salah .

Liverpool will feel as though they got the deal of the century when Salah joined the Reds in a £36m deal back in July 2017. The Egyptian has gone on to have the most impressive debut season in Premier League history, scoring 41 goals and winning the PFA Player of the Year award .

Roma may feel aggrieved for allowing Salah to join the Reds for what now looks like a knock-down price, but they will be quietly pleased with the business they have done since then – especially in how they’ve replaced Salah.

The Giallorossi signed Cengiz Ünder for just under £12 million, with the Turkish youngster joining Roma on his 20th birthday.

Under was a player who had caught the eye of Istanbul Basaksehir in the Turkish Super Lig, making 41 appearances, scoring nine goals and receiving several full caps for Turkey while still in his teens.

Even so, it would have been hard to blame Roma fans for feeling underwhelmed. After all, the club were replacing a player who had scored 34 times in just two seasons with the club with an unknown youngster who cost just a third of the fee they received for Salah.

But Sporting Director Monchi was convinced of Under’s talent, saying that he knew the winger could make an immediate impact with the club – even if the fans had their doubts.

“He is probably the least well known of our new signings for the fans,” said Monchi when Under joined the club, “but not for those of us who work here. When the manager and I started looking for a left-footer who could play on the right, we thought of him right away. He is a footballer with great potential who can also play an important role right away.”

In truth, Under didn’t make that immediate impact that Monchi predicted. He struggled initially, making just four Serie A appearances before Christmas.

But the youngster was determined to make his mark in Roma, he told The Guardian that he was focused on putting his struggles behind him and as 2017 became 2018, Under came of age.

Pushed further forward by manager Eusebio Di Francesco , Under was instructed to support striker Edin Dzeko as part of a front three, and he helped Roma end a seven-match spell without a win with his first goal for the club at Verona.

He followed that up with five goals in his next five games. In fact, Roma have lost just twice in the 13 games Under has played in since he notched his first goal for the club.

Under is a pacy winger with an eye for a goal, and his been lauded in the Italian newspapers as a natural replacement for Salah. Indeed, he operates from the right and likes to cut in onto his left foot. He’s also a natural finisher who has been compared to Vincenzo Montella by his manager – lofty praise indeed.

Under is a big star in his home country, too. Having emerged as a player on whom the hopes of the nation are pinned and has also courted controversy with a pro-Turkish military salute when celebrating a goal for Roma.

And the youngster is well aware of the pressure placed on him in Rome – but he is embracing becoming Salah’s replacement for the club, saying recently: “I am very proud that Rome has chosen me instead of Salah.”

“I have too many expectations to replace a great player like Salah. After January, I began to show my true value in the field.”

Source: LiverpoolEcho

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