Roma’s search for an heir to Edin Dzeko has long been a hot topic among Romanisti. And while it’s unlikely that any striker will immediately be able to replicate what the Bosnian Bomber brings to the table, the Giallorossi will soon need someone to take on that tall task.
It seemed like Roma had finally found their man this past summer when Arek Milik’s arrival looked imminent. Milik isn’t a carbon copy of Dzeko in terms of playing style, but he would’ve provided Roma with a top class striker in his prime.
However, we all know how that move turned out thanks to Aurelio De Laurentiis playing hardball with Milik. And with that, bren’s long form piece comparing Milik to Dzeko died in the CdT drafts feed likely for eternity.
Milik is currently frozen out of the Napoli squad, which means there’s hope he could still arrive during the winter mercato or even on a Bosman move after June 30th. However, with Milik so close to hitting the open market where teams like Juve could attempt to woo the Poland international, landing him won’t be easy.
The Giallorossi placated Paulo Fonseca for the Milik failure by bringing in Borja Mayoral from Real Madrid to fill the void behind Dzeko. And while Mayoral has potential, he’s a completely different striker from Dzeko and even Milik. Plus, even if Mayoral does work out, the Giallorossi will need another striker in the not too distant future whenever Dzeko does decide to move on.
So, where could Roma look? Well, if it were up to me, I would encourage whoever Roma’s new DS might be to look at a familiar face: Gianluca Scamacca.
Who Is He?
Scamacca is a born and bred Roman, who actually started his youth development in the Roma academy. After earning the reputation as one of the Giallorossi’s most sought after prospects, Dutch side PSV Eindhoven lured him away from Trigoria at the age of 16 in January 2015. Unfortunately for Scamacca, his time in Holland didn’t go so well and he returned to the Italian peninsula with Sassuolo’s U19 side in January 2017.
After making three senior side appearances with the Neroverdi that spring, Scamacca was loaned out for three straight seasons with Cremonese of Serie B (17-18), PEC Zwolle of the Eredivise (18-19), and Ascoli in Serie B (19-20). It was last season at Ascoli that Scamacca was finally able to get consistent game time, scoring 13 goals in 35 appearances in Italy’s second tier.
It wasn’t a huge tally, but it was enough to earn himself a more high profile loan move with Genoa for the 2020-21 season.
What Can He Do?
From the small top flight sample size, it looks like quite a bit. Recently, the Giallorossi were able to witness his vast potential first-hand when they defeated Genoa 3-1 before the international break. At just 21-years-old, Scamacca has already shown the ability to lead a line and has taken advantage of the opportunity afforded him by Rolando Maran.
Scamacca is a big striker at 1.95m (6’4”), who, like Dzeko, is extremely mobile for his size. Like Dzeko, Scamacca has proven to be able to use his size to win aerial duels, and hold up the ball. On top of that, the young Italian has shown the ability to pick out the killer pass to a teammate (see his assist against Roma).
And most importantly for a number 9, Scamacca has been on fire bagging goals for the Grifoni. He opened his scoring account with a double in the Coppa Italia against Cantazaro on October 28th. Since then Scamacca’s followed that up with his first Serie A goal in the Derby della Laterna and another days later against Torino. Meanwhile, he’s carried that fine form into the international break by scoring a brace for Italy’s U21 side.
In the process, Scamacca has shown that he can put the ball in the back of the net in a variety of ways. The Italian has scored powerful headers, a lovely turnaround, a half-volley, and a poacher’s tap-in.
But, Scamacca has been stuffing the stat sheet well beyond the goal production. In his most complete match against Torino, Scamacca scored a goal, took seven shots, won seven aerial duels, made two key passes, and completed 85.7% of his passes. Meanwhile, against Samp he won four tackles, which speaks to his defensive work rate as well. Thanks to all of that he’s earned better than a 7 rating in each of his three league starts, according to WhoScored.com.
Why Would He Fit At Roma?
Besides the Roman bloodlines and neck tattoo? Well, as mentioned earlier, Scamacca is a striker built in the Dzeko/Ibrahimovic mold. He’s big, strong, and athletic with good technique and the ability to get his teammates involved in play.
In other words, he’d be the perfect player to grow into Dzeko’s role in Fonseca’s set up. As has been noted in some scouting reports on Scamacca, he’s got the ability to drop deep and pick the ball, much like Dzeko. Also, the combination of his big frame, pace, and passing ability make him dangerous on the counter-attack—something that his been a staple to Roma’s game early this season. And, of course, he knows how to score.
What Would It Take?
While a move for another striker would be very unlikely for Roma in January, Scamacca looks like an ideal candidate for Roma’s summer mercato after a full year’s seasoning with Genoa. Currently, TransferMarkt has Scamacca valued at €5 million Euros, but that number is likely rising with each strong performance he puts in.
There’s no telling what the current financial situation will do to the market by 2021 thanks to Covid, but Roma could likely land Scamacca for a reasonable amount. To do so they’d have to negotiate with Sassuolo, who currently own his rights. The Giallorossi have done lots of business with the Neroverdi in recent seasons, which could ease negotiations. If Sassuolo are willing to negotiate then a loan with obligation could work for Roma.
Scamacca is still an unfinished product, but just watching him play against the Giallorossi in Roma’s last match makes it easy to see why PSV poached him from Trigoria five years ago. He looks like he can develop into an ideal modern striker with plenty of skill to go along with his imposing physique. Also, his goal-scoring success has also translated to international play (albeit at the youth levels).
Besides looking like a striker who could lead the line for a large Serie A side like Roma, Scamacca could also be the man who solves the Azzurri’s perpetual need at the position as early as World Cup 2022. While this is all hypothetical, the talent is there and I’d love to see Roma take a chance on him. After all, how great would it be to see Scamacca playing Zaniolo in on goal and vice-versa?
Should Roma pursue Gianluca Scamacca as the heir to Edin Dzeko?
This poll is closed
Hell yes! Bring him home.
Only if Roma can’t land a bigger name.