I suppose it’s bitterly ironic or some sort of karmic retribution that we must pass along the news of Stephan El Shaarawy’s midweek injury. Not even a day after we spread the good news of several returning Roma players, we must shift our focus towards the Pharaoh’s suddenly wonky right thigh, one which may keep him out of two crucial fixtures, this weekend against Napoli and Wednesday’s Champions League encounter with Chelsea.
While SES was effusive in his praise for EDF earlier today, speaking about his role within Di Francesco’s setup:
Di Francesco works very hard on the pitch on a tactical level...I’ve already said, the things he asks from his wingers help me. They’re all things that are already part of my repertoire, and he’s also great on a human level.
Well, maybe he wasn’t effusive in the strictest sense of the word, but it’s clear to all that El Shaarawy has found new life under EDF. Where he was once an ancillary part of Luciano Spalletti’s system, he’s right up there with Edin Dzeko in terms of the key cogs in this particular Roma machine.
So, when El Shaarawy returned from International duty this week with a “muscular oedema in his right adductor longus muscle”, a/k/a an owie, people were quite concerned. El Shaarawy is quite obviously being monitored closely, because without him, we may have to face the horror of Gregoire Defrel on the wings.
So while we wait for news on SES’s progress, keep your fingers crossed that Alessandro Florenzi and Diego Perotti remain healthy between now and Wednesday.