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Report: Belotti Could Start Thursday's Europa League Opener Against Ludogorets

With a compact fixture list and a frontline that isn't exactly clicking at the moment, Roma may turn to Andrea Belotti on Thursday against Ludogorets.

Udinese Calcio v AS Roma - Serie A Photo by Emmanuele Ciancaglini/Getty Images

When word got out that Roma was hell-bent on signing former Torino striker Andrea Belotti, many fans, while excited at the prospect of adding a player with his resumé, questioned how Belotti would fit in with the club's current striker Tammy Abraham. After all, we're talking about a 24-year-old forward fresh off a stunning debut season in which he scored 27 goals in all competitions, so it wasn't as if Abraham suffered from old age or a lack of production.

However, the conversation shifted slightly once the dust settled and Belotti finally signed his free agent deal with the club. No longer were fans questioning where or how Belotti would fit in alongside his new teammates, instead focusing on the incredible fortune of having a second striker with over 100 Serie A goals to his credit.

While Belotti is only just getting his feet wet with Roma, reports from the Corriere dello Sport suggest a different role could be in the offing for Belotti: potential starter. His goal against Juventus notwithstanding, Abraham hasn't looked quite right through Roma's five games, leading the CdS to suggest that Belotti could get the nod against Ludogorets in Roma's Europa League opener this Thursday.

This move likely has as much to do with fitness as anything else, but, as the CdS suggests, if Belotti's presence makes a difference on Thursday, he could force Mourinho's hand next week against Empoli.

No matter who starts on Thursday, stories like these point to the benefit of adding a player like Belotti. With the attack struggling at the moment, Belotti looks less like a luxury and more a necessity.

Any team worth its salt needs legitimate options at all positions, and José Mourinho may soon test the limits of Roma's newfound depth.