Kalinic: Dzeko told me to join Roma

By Sports Desk September 05, 2019

Nikola Kalinic claims Edin Dzeko convinced him to join Roma and believes the two strikers could form a successful front pairing.

Ex-Croatia international Kalinic secured a deadline-day loan switch to Stadio Olimpico after falling out of Diego Simeone's plans at Atletico Madrid.

The 31-year-old has prior experience in Italy with Fiorentina and AC Milan, scoring 33 times in 99 Serie A appearances.

Roma moved for a deputy to Dzeko after allowing Patrik Schick to leave for RB Leipzig but Kalinic wants to prove they can fit into the same side.

"I've spoken to Dzeko every day – he convinced me to come here," Kalinic said. "I think he's a great forward.

"The boss will decide whether we play with one or two strikers. I'm here to work hard and we'll see what happens. I'm happy in every position in the front line.

"I played on the left under [Paulo] Sousa [at Fiorentina]. I can play in a front two or in other formations."

Roma paid a €2million loan fee to capture Kalinic for the 2019-20 season and have an option to buy for a further €9m.

The former Blackburn Rovers man hopes to make an impression after a couple of lean campaigns in Milan and Madrid.

"First of all, I'd like to have an injury-free season because I've not played much over the past two years. I want to play more football this year," he said.

"We'll take things game by game – I won't say now that we'll win the Europa League or anything else.

"Roma want to play Champions League football. If we commit ourselves, game after game, we'll see where we end up."

The Giallorossi have taken two points from as many Serie A games under Paulo Fonseca, drawing against Genoa and Lazio.

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