We’ll take a quick detour from Totti Week, our week long celebration of Francesco Totti’s “retirement” to talk a bit about one of his former teammates and possible future coach, current Sassuolo headman Eusebio Di Francesco. With the Luciano Spalletti to Inter Milan rumors picking up steam, with many suggesting an accord has been struck, Roma has or will soon begin a not-so-behind-the-scenes search for a new man to lead the Giallorossi.
While we’ve touched upon everyone from Unai Emery to Paulo Sousa to Claudio Ranieri in these spaces, Sky Sport Italia reports that Roma have indeed chosen their former midfielder, Di Francesco, as their next coach. EDF, as we all know, was a member of AS Roma for several seasons, most notably their last Scudetto triumph in 2001. EDF would play out the string on his career in Piacenza, Ancona and Perugia before jumping into the shirt and tie in 2008.
EDF’s managerial career hasn’t exactly been packed with success, though. He was dismissed by several smaller clubs, including his hometown Pescara, before landing with Sassuolo, who, ironically, also fired him in January of 2014 before ultimately re-hiring him two months later—only in Italy, amirte? From there, it was relatively smooth sailing, as Di Francesco has not only managed to keep Sassuolo in the top flight, but even earned Europa League qualification for this current season.
Aside from his Roma qualifications, EDF is best known for two things—the 4-3-3 and his penchant for using young players, though given his previous managerial gigs, he probably didn’t have much choice. While this is miles away from being verified, Di Francesco checks a lot of boxes for this new ownership—he’s young and he can make the most out of a tight budget, two characteristics in lock stop with Monchi’s approach at Sevilla.
Despite those good feelings, EDF is far from a safe choice. He’s never managed a larger club, particularly not in a hot house like Rome, and, if we’re being honest, his track record isn’t exactly bursting at the seams with success.
The company line will probably go something like this—Eusebio is familiar with the history of this club, he’s a proven winner and Roma is the next step in his promising career.
EDF won’t be a bad hire per se, but will he be the best?