The 28-year-old winger left for China after a three-year spell with the Giallorossi between 2016 and 2019. He featured 142 times for the club, netting 40 goals in the process.
Stephan El Shaarawy to Return to Roma
A Long Time Coming
Stephan El Shaarawy was already looking for the move last January, but Roma couldn’t make it happen in time. The Italian winger was keen to join and was reportedly disappointed to see his move fail.
At Roma, El Shaarawy excelled alongside Diego Perotti and Mohammed Salah, playing from the left in a false nine formation. With the team now playing in a different formation and both of his ex-teammates no longer at the club, he will have to adapt to a new style of play. At Shangai, El Shaarawy played as a left midfielder in a classic 4-4-2.
How Roma Could Use Him
Manager Fonseca currently deploys a 3-4-2-1, and even with the recent lack of form in the side, it is unlikely that Roma will change that formation. El Shaarawy should slot at one of the two attacking midfielders spots, currently occupied by Mkhitaryan and Pellegrini.
The Armenian playmaker is enjoying one of the most productive seasons of his career so far, with ten goals and ten assists in all competitions. Therefore, the most plausible solution would be to start Mkhitaryan and El Sharaawy upfront and drop back Pellegrini in the holding midfielder position.
If this move does happen, Roma could find themselves in a dilemma once wonderkid Nicolo Zaniolo returns from injury, as he usually would have been taking the attacking midfield role. Fonseca has tried the youngster in a number nine role in a couple of games. With Dzeko‘s poor form, it could be beneficial. A switch to the 4-2-3-1, with El Shaarawy on the left, Zaniolo in the middle and Mkhitaryan on the right could also work.
Stephan El Sharaawy’s return could transform the way Roma lines up, only time will tell if the move does become complete, however.
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