Coach Luciano Spalletti believes Roma’s preparations for the new season are progressing as planned – although he acknowledges that Mario Rui’s injury will lead the club to act in the transfer market. The Portuguese full-back suffered an ACL injury during training in Boston last week, a setback that will see him sidelined for an extended period. Spalletti had been satisfied with his defensive options before the issue but will now look to add two defenders before the window closes.
“Mario Rui’s injury was a big blow, especially considering what previously happened to [Antonio] Rudiger,” Spalletti told a press conference in St. Louis. “Whereas before we were close to being ready in that area, now we will have to go into the market to be ready for the season. I have no doubt the board will make the right decisions.”
The boss said that, the injury apart, last week’s experience at Harvard University had been a positive one: “Over the last few days the boys have worked hard, and they know they will have to continue like that,” Spalletti said. “I must say that they have shown that they want to train in the best possible way, while also considering the moment and the possibilities of injury and physical setbacks at this point in the season. But so far, we have done everything right.”
He added: “Sometimes I read and I hear that the situation is not the best: from the outside that might seem so, but from inside I assure you that everyone, players and staff, is doing their best to be 100 per cent prepared for the new season. We need two more defenders and the management agree. We need seven or eight, I also include Florenzi among that but the board is working in that direction. His versatility is valuable, and others need to be willing to play where they are needed. This is a time to give more than 100 percent. On the one hand there is the obligation to have a proper number of players to address all our commitments for the season, on the other we only want the best available.”
The coach was coy on his plans for Monday’s friendly against Liverpool, revealing only that he will rotate his midfield options between that game and the following meeting with the Montreal Impact in Canada: "It is clear that this tour will create a little bit of mental and physical fatigue,” he said. “But this is football: for a club like Roma it is crucial to have visibility around the world. Now all teams have adapted to these tours.”