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Getting To The Core Of Coric

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Where does the Croatian’s future lie? And what exactly is he capable of?

Dinamo Zagreb v Salzburg: UEFA Champions League Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

When you asked me in August which Roma player should be 100% loaned out to gain more experience, my answers would have been Bianda, Fuzato or Luca Pellegrini. Hell I would have even picked Zaniolo, which looks a rather stupid answer when you fast forward four months.

But at the moment, the one guy who desperately needs to be loaned out might be Ante Coric, the 21-year-old Croatian wonder kid. Well, I guess he’s a wonder kid, right? We don’t exactly have a clue what he can do with a ball at his feet. He’s got plenty of skills and has drawn comparisons with Modric (to take with a pinch of salt of course) but it just doesn’t seem to work out in Rome for Ante. Can he play on De Rossi’s position? Or a bit higher, like Pastore or Pellegrini? Or perhaps he’s more suited on the wing.

Back in August I thought Coric was a certainty for the future, a kid who would walk into the first team after a while because you couldn’t ignore his quality. Plus, he has a lot more experience than the other young guns in the team. After all, we’re looking at a kid who is only 21 and has already played four full seasons in Croatia’s top division, including 20 or so games in Europe, winning more trophies in Croatia than Daniele De Rossi in Italy. Ok, you can’t compare Croatia to Serie A, but it must mean something.

So yeah, I’m a bit confused why Coric still hasn’t shown up. His only Serie A appearance was against SPAL of all teams, and even as a sub to make it worse. Surely Ante must be jealous of Zaniolo’s development?

Di Francesco has used every midfielder at his disposal at least 10 times this season… bar Coric. Pellegrini is turning into a fan favorite. Cristante is slowly growing in his role and finding his Atalanta form. Nzonzi is decent and an everpresent for Roma. Pastore started brightly, got injured but he’ll be back soon and has already shown his brilliance with two nice goals. Zaniolo needs no further explanation, just like De Rossi.

Only Coric looks like the one who is passed over time and time again. Even when things looked bad and Roma got into a slump around November/December, EDF chose to stick with the usual suspects Nzonzi, Cristante, Zaniolo and co. Something about his situation just worries me. A loan is the only remaining option for Ante right now. A shame.

Sure, he looks to enjoy himself on training with Kluivert and co when I look at his social media, but what difference does it make if you are benched every week? For a 21-year-old that’s tough to bear and it can even undermine his entire career. But it is what it is, EDF simply thinks there are better options right now than Coric, although Ante surely deserved a lot more playing time by now.

No, this month if there’s one guy that needs to leave for his own good, it’s Coric. A club like Parma, Sassuolo or Genoa would benefit a lot from this. Wherever he may land, I hope he can return ASAP to prove the doubters wrong in Rome.

In the end it’s up to Coric himself to accept a loan, but if he’s smart he will look for a solution together with Roma. He needs to relaunch his career because it ain’t happening soon at Rome.

Roma needs to, pardon the pun, up the ante and free Coric. Only then we’ll discover his true potential. Let’s hope for Roma’s sake they still own him when the time comes.