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Diawara: The club made a big push to sign me

On Monday afternoon, midfielder Amadou Diawara faced the media for the first time since becoming a Roma player.

Presented to the assembled journalists at Trigoria by Morgan De Santis, the club's representative from the technical department, Diawara answered a number of questions about his ambitions with the Giallorossi, his career to date and more.

Read everything he had to say...

You have played in a midfield three and a midfield two – in which setup do you feel more comfortable?

“I’m used to playing in a three-man midfield, but I have adapted to play in a two as well. The important thing is that I do what the coach asks of me and I help the team.”

How are you feeling physically? You came back early from holiday to be here…

“Yes, I cut short my holidays to come here as quickly as possible, to get to know my new teammates and the coach. These extra days of training will help me recover after the games I played at the Africa Cup of Nations. I feel good, I’m just thinking about being at my best as soon as possible – even for training today.”

What is Roma’s minimum objective this season?

“The aim for this season is to get back into the Champions League. We need to do everything we can to try and manage that.”

What differences are there right now between Roma and Napoli, in your opinion?

“Both are big sides, but this year we can have a great season.”

Is Roma are starting point for you, or the destination?

“I’ve come here very motivated and I know that this is a huge club. I will give everything to help the team to get to where it deserves to be.”

Why did you choose Napoli when you left Bologna, and not Roma?

“If I did not come here then it is because that was God’s will [at the time]. It doesn’t matter, now I’m focused and want to do well here.”

What has Paulo Fonseca asked of you?

“I know that the midfield is an important area for the coach, because he wants us to bring the ball forward with our feet. When he called me on the phone a few weeks ago it was a big thing for me. I am honoured that he will be coaching me.”

Can you speak a little about the negotiation that brought you to Roma, and whether it arrived before or after talks about Kostas Manolas going the other way?

“I think so – the club made a big push to sign me. I want to thank the club and the coach for the faith they have shown in me, and I hope to repay it fully.”

What sort of impact do you expect from the fans, and what do you think they can offer?

“I’ve been to the Olimpico as an opponent and I’ve seen how the fans are – they left a big impression on me. I can only say that I will give my best in every training session and every game to try and give them the success they are looking for.”

The ex-coach of Guinea has compared you to Ngolo Kante in the past – what do you make of that?

“I don’t know. Kante is a top-quality player. I can’t really say that I play too much like him. My idol has always been Yaya Toure, I see more of myself in him.”

Could it be tough to come here after midfielders like Kevin Strootman and Radja Nainggolan?

“They are great players; I’ve seen them play and they caused me a lot of problems whenever I played against them in the past. I am still young and I hope to give my best in training and the games in order to do what they did here, and perhaps even more.”

 
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