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Wed 14 September 2022 | 14:59

Mourinho confirms Nicolo Zaniolo's injury return against Helsinki

Nicolo Zaniolo attracted the attention of many clubs during the last few months for a move out of the Giallorossi. Although clubs like Juventus showed strong interest in the midfielder, the midfielder decided to stay put as his manager confirms his injury return.

Sustaining a shoulder injury during his side’s victory over Cremonese,

Nicolo Zaniolo

is cleared to make an injury return ahead of

Roma's

Europa League clash against

Helsinki

on Tuesday after missing his side’s 2-1 Serie A victory over

Empoli

on Monday.

Although many speculations aroused that the Italian midfielder is pushing for a move away from the club,

Jose Mourinho

admired Zaniolo’s commitment as he revealed the midfielder was eager to risk his injury to play in his side’s Monday game.

The Portuguese coach told his pre-match conference:

“Yes he’ll play tomorrow. Zaniolo has been injured without peace of mind, he wanted to return as soon as possible, he worked hard with the doctors, with the fitness trainers, and he wanted to be available.

“On Monday he wanted to take a risk, he also wanted to be available for the game. I decided to change things after our second goal, tomorrow he’ll play but I don’t know if he’ll be available for 90 minutes.

“I’m sure he’ll be at a high level, he has a lot of motivation and is full of confidence. He was playing very well before the injury.”

 

Reflecting on his memory from their earlier 1-0 friendly victory over

Tottenham

in the preseason, Mourinho added:

“We didn’t have any defensive problems. For you many times the focus is, is this player responsible for the goal or another.

“Even with the difficulty we were always in control of the situation and for 90 minutes. The attitude was very very strong. I did not have the same in the other games.”

On their Thursday opponents,

HJK Helsinki

, the Portuguese added:

“The coach paid attention to me. I like the team, I did the match analysis and I’ve been studying them since Monday after the match against Empoli. They’re a very organised team, they have beauty in their game.

“They lost against Real Betis but it’s a false result, this means that the quality of football in the North is changing. The teams are well organised, the technical level has improved, physically they are always there. The match is difficult, maybe people think it is easy but it isn’t.”

Hailing

Lorenzo Pellegrini'

s leadership as the Roma captain, Mourinho added:

“Last year I talked about three Pellegrini, he can do three different roles very well. He’s a player who can do everything, it’s a shame to have only one. We try to give him the role or roles where he feels best, it’s normal that he can’t do everything at once.

“The team is the most important thing and Lorenzo knows as captain that the team is the most important thing, he has total importance in this team. He is a super important player for us.”

 

Being asked if Edoardo Bove and

Mile Svilar

will play against HJK, Mourinho revealed their summer signing

Mady Camara

will play for his side tomorrow.

“Rui Patricio will play, I don’t like competition. Svilar is a goalkeeper of so much quality and he will play from time to time but not tomorrow, it doesn’t mean he will play all six Europa League games. Bove is growing, I remember he was in the Primavera when I arrived.

“He’s an intelligent boy, he takes things seriously and he’s improving. Every opportunity that comes along he takes it, whether it’s as a starter or a minute. I don’t know if he’ll do what Zalewski did last year, it’s hard to say, but he’s growing.”

"Mady Camara cannot play 90 minutes. When he arrived, he hadn’t played since the match against Slavia Prague and it had been a month.

“He didn’t work at his best when he arrived because he had physical difficulties. He is learning our way of playing and the role of our midfielders, but he will play tomorrow.”

Mourinho

finally revealed about deciding on the

penalty takers

at Roma:

“We always decide before the game, we have a first, second and third choice. Clearly, the player has to feel the confidence and if he is well enough to shoot, in case he gives the opportunity to another teammate.

“Every game there’s the first, in the last one it was Pellegrini, then tomorrow it will be him again.”

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