Garcia: Dzeko and Salah will get better
The pair failed to make much of an impact in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Verona but the Frenchman believes the summer signings will soon settle
Roma coach Rudi Garcia is adamant Edin Dzeko and Mohamed Salah will improve after admitting the new Giallorossi attackers had disappointed in Saturday’s Serie A opener at Verona.
Last season’s runners-up fell behind just after the hour mark at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi when Bosko Jankovic volleyed home a lofted pass from Emil Hallfredsson.
Roma quickly equalised courtesy of a long-range strike from Alessandro Florenzi but were unable to begin their anticipated title challenge with a win.
The Giallorossi drew 13 times last term and the acquisitions of Dzeko and Salah were meant to address the capital club’s repeated failure to turn possession into goals.
Though the pair underwhelmed in Verona, Garcia believes that the summer signings will soon settle into life at the Stadio Olimpico side.
“Edin was excellent in the first half and had that chance with a header at the end,” the Frenchman told reporters after the game.
“We needed to speed things up in possession. We didn’t move the ball around quickly enough or stretch Verona as much as we’d have liked.
“They’re a tough proposition at the Bentegodi. We put in an okay performance but it wasn’t enough to get us the three points.
“We could have done better up front but perhaps we took too many touches. Dzeko and Salah have only just joined us, yet they’ve managed to do well so far and I’m sure they’ll do even better.
“I need all my players over the course of the season because we have lots matches, with Serie A, Champions League and Coppa Italia commitments to juggle.
“The overall attitude of the squad is very important and the guys got that part right. Our general approach was good. We’re on the right path.”
Question marks also remain over the Roma defence, not least at left-back, with Vasilis Torosidis Garcia’s only option now that Ashley Cole has been frozen out.
The Giallorossi are hoping to sign Lucas Digne from Paris Saint-Germain but Garcia insists that it will not be a problem if 22-year-old fails to arrive at the Stadio Olimpico.
“I’m not worried,” the former Lille boss added. “We’re weighing up various options together and it would help if we could bring someone in this week but if we can’t, then Torosidis is fine.
“Apart from the goal when he pushed up too much, he played his usual solid game today.
“But Lucas Digne is not the only name we’re looking at. There are three or four options and we’ll make sure we get the right one.”
Roma next host Italian champions Juventus on August 30 and Garcia admitted that he is looking forward to watching the Bianconeri take on Udinese on Sunday.
“It will be interesting to watch given we play them next weekend,” the 51-year-old added.
“They’ve lost some top-quality players in [Andrea] Pirlo, [Carlos] Tevez and [Arturo] Vidal but they’ve also signed some fantastic talents.
“They, like us, have work to do if they want to improve and exploit their squad’s full potential.”