Monchi’s second summer in command, and the first in which he’s had a significant run-up, is officially underway. While we’ve been privy to a host of rumors already, ranging from the banal (Ivan Marcano) to the sublime (Federico Chiesa) to the controversial (Mario Balotelli), and Monchi’s first bit of business falls somewhere towards the tamer end of that spectrum, as he landed a young and intriguing midfielder in the form of Ante Coric.
The Croatian midfielder has signed a contract with #ASRoma until 2023.— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) May 28, 2018
Coric: “I am very pleased to be at Roma, one of the biggest European clubs. I have given everything to reach this level, and I cannot wait for the chance to start showing what I am capable of.” pic.twitter.com/xE3gpdC2Vy
As you can see, the club recently made official what we’ve sort of known for a few months now, that they’ve landed Coric from Dinamo Zagreb. Dubbed the next Luka Modric, Coric was, as recently as two seasons ago, one of the hottest teenage prospects on the planet. However, after dealing with some minor knocks and changes in his role, Coric’s star dimmed somewhat, enabling Monchi to land him for a fraction of what he would have cost some 24 months ago.
On his new signing, Monchi was quick to point out Coric’s massive potential
We are delighted to welcome Ante Coric to the club. I believe that, with his signing, we have secured one of the emerging talents of European football...I hope that, with hard work from the player and the guidance of the coach, that talent can develop even further – and we can enjoy its quality for a long time.
Source: AS Roma
Coric’s deal will keep him with the capital club through 2023 (which, coincidentally, is his new kit number) and will cost Roma €6 million upfront. However, if Coric is sold prior to June 30, 2020, Zagreb will receive 10% of the sale or €2 million, whichever is greater. Given Roma’s propensity to sell players, that’s not a bad gamble by Zagreb—if he flourishes and Roma are forced to sell, they stand to make a lot more than two mill.
Upon signing his new deal. Coric spoke a bit about expectations, Luka Modric and even Francesco Totti:
It’s better to show my talent on the pitch, and let others judge who I am like...I think defence is the most important skill I have to improve, there are many others but the first one is defence.
[Luka] Modric is an idol [of mine], and Totti too – he was here before, and he has stopped [playing] now, but he was one of the best midfielders ever.
I think it was an incredible season for Roma and I am very happy to be here...I like [Edin] Dzeko because he is from where I am from. But I like all the players: El Shaarawy, De Rossi, many more. Forza Roma!
Source: AS Roma
Do you want to tell him, or should I? Ante, listen. This is AS Roma we’re talking about, Dzeko and El Shaarawy might be gone by the time you get your first paycheck, kid.
Coric has featured as both an attacking and deeper-seated midfielder, so it’ll be interesting to see how EDF integrates him with his current glut of midfielders. Whatever the case may be, Coric is as enticing a prospect as Roma has landed in years.