It wasn’t the first time that Federico Di Francesco played at the Olimpico against Roma. He did that way back in April 2013 when he was 18 years old and wearing the sky blue and white of Pescara.
However, Saturday was the first time that Federico played against a Roma side coached by his father at the Olimpico. In a match that Esubio’s Roma won 1-0; Federico did more than hold his own against one of Italy’s top sides.
Federico was impressive and regarded as one of, if not Bologna’s best player on the night. He was full of running and made himself a constant thorn in the side of the Roma defense. After the game Florenzi called him “a real pain”. Federico showed some nice dribbling ability which was highlighted by a slick move that made Strootman look a bit silly.
Ed ecco a voi la gif della giocata assurda di Di Francesco di stasera. pic.twitter.com/70LjKp2XYY— Napoli Outsider (@NapoliOutsider) October 28, 2017
With Federico putting in a solid performance and the media always looking for a story; they asked EdF about the possibility of his son coming to Roma. As expected EdF played down the possibility with a reply that translates to.
When I leave then he can come here with tranquility because I think it’s difficult to coach a son. Tonight he was Bologna’s most dangerous player and has a good ability to attack the spaces. He didn’t back down to anyone and played his game. Florenzi told me he was a real pain.
That being said it still makes one wonder what the chances are of Federico wearing the Roma shirt like his father once did.
Federico is only 23 years old and looks to be improving, as should be expected from a player of his age and talent level. Last season, he worked his way into the Italy under 21 set up and scored three goals in six matches. His improvement has earned him consistent playing time with Bologna and according to Who Scored? his average player rating this season in 8 appearances is 6.81. That’s a more than respectable number. However, the one area where Di Francesco leaves a bit to more desired is his goal scoring. Despite registering a total of 18 shots in those 8 matches, Federico has only scored once.
It was reported early last season by Football Italia, long before EdF ever arrived to coach in the capital that Federico was on Roma’s radar. If that’s the case then I’m sure that he’s on their radar even more after seeing him up close and personal on Saturday. However, being on a team’s radar and being a legitimate target are two different things.
I believe for him to truly be a target for a team of Roma’s caliber then he’ll have to improve his goal output from the wing because running like a mad man and being a thorn in the opposing defense’s side will only take a player so far. The best way for him to do that would be to stay on a smaller team like Bologna where he can continue to get lots of game time and grow as a player. Roma have a load of wingers on their roster which makes a move for a player like Di Francesco unlikely in the near future. He’d be nothing more than a bit player as Roma is currently constructed.
I’d say check back in another year or two when some of Roma’s current wingers move on and Di Francesco likely becomes more of a polished player. However, he’s still young and seems to have a fairly high ceiling, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Federico one day ends up playing for Roma like his father. Remember, the last time that Roma won a Scudetto there was a Di Francesco on the roster. Could lightning strike in the capital twice sometime down the road?