Monchi: ‘Not easy’ to protect Zaniolo

Monchi admits ‘it’s not easy’ to protect Nicolo Zaniolo as the Roma starlet becomes the talk of Italy.

Zaniolo’s brace against Porto in the Champions League confirmed his status as a breakthrough talent for many, but the 19-year-old has also been in the public eye for off-field affairs, reportedly telling his mother to lay off social media.

“It’s not easy to protect him, but that’s normal,” Monchi said before the Giallorossi’s visit of Bologna on Monday evening.

“Sometimes things happen that can’t be managed, but we all have to stay close to the player so he can grow in a normal way.

“It’s never easy and even less so for a 19-year-old. He has the right head, so we’ll all try to help him.”

The sporting director then discussed Edin Dzeko’s future at the Olimpico, with his contract entering the final 18 months…

“We’re very happy and satisfied with him,” he assured.

“Now let’s think about the present. He said he wants to stay and it’s important for us to know that.

“What matters for Edin, his teammates and club right now is the present.”

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