EDF: ‘Strootman biggest Roma regret’

Eusebio Di Francesco reveals his biggest regrets at Roma, including the sale of Kevin Strootman, while Daniele De Rossi tried to prevent his dismissal.

He took the Giallorossi to an unexpected Champions League semi-final against Liverpool, only to be fired a few months later.

“Decisions were made that proved to be wrong, starting with the ones I regret the most, selling Strootman and Radja Nainggolan,” Di Francesco told the Corriere dello Sport newspaper.

“Strootman is an extraordinary player. With his departure, we lost character and consistency. I regret that I didn’t fight harder for him to stay, I accepted his decision.

“With Radja, it was a shared decision by everyone, including the player. I wanted to bring him to Sampdoria over the summer, but then he followed his heart to Cagliari.”

Roma were constantly selling their top names to raise funds and the merry-go-round ground to a halt.

“It wasn’t easy to rebuild a squad after selling Mohamed Salah and Alisson. Monchi and I had disagreements on some situations, like any family, but always tried to work in the same direction.

“We had chaos at times, like in January when Edin Dzeko was on the verge of joining Chelsea. I had to revamp the tactics to suit the characteristics of certain players, while Cengiz Under and Justin Kluivert needed time to mature.

“I didn’t have a good rapport with Javier Pastore, but I hold no rancour for his words against me. He couldn’t perform to the standards that people expected and, as we saw again this season, injuries are his main problem.”

Di Francesco was fired to make way for Claudio Ranieri after crashing out of the Champions League to Porto.

“Football is like that, it’s about incidents. The dismissal was a coming together of a series of situations. It was said that the players turned against me, but that was not the case. In fact, some players did everything to make (President James) Pallotta change his mind.

“De Rossi is one of those who called the President and tried to avoid my dismissal. I am glad to say that Pallotta’s Roma reached its apex with me on the bench, despite the many injuries we suffered.”

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