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Opinion: What Ante Coric will bring to the Giallorossi


Our columnist looks at Ante Coric's time with Dinamo Zagreb - and how the 21-year-old midfielder might slot in at the Stadio Olimpico under Eusebio Di Francesco...

Our columnist takes at look at Croatian midfielder Ante Coric, and what the new signing might bring to the Giallorossi next season...

Signing 21-year-old Croatian starlet Ante Coric is certainly a statement of intent for AS Roma, as they open their transfer business this summer.

Having kept a close eye on the midfielder for some time, securing the immensely talented Coric for just €6 million is unquestionably a shrewd piece of business by Monchi and the club.

Despite his tender years, Coric arrives with plenty of senior experience, for he featured 143 times for Dinamo Zagreb, scoring 23 and assisting 24 in that time, played in the Champions League, the Europa League and has even won four caps for the national team.

Having moved to Austria as a youngster to play for Red Bull Salzburg's academy, Coric has adjusted to new surroundings before and so should have a strong chance of settling in swiftly and adjusting to life in a new, unfamiliar environment.

Moreover, upon analysing his skill set, the highly coveted prospect - who'll add some essential depth and quality in midfield - would seem a great fit for Eusebio Di Francesco's system too, meaning he should be able to transfer his qualities effectively so he can hit the ground running.

An exceptional technician, the diminutive maestro's dribbling ability is a tremendous asset, allowing him to unbalance his markers with his razor sharp ball control, vast array of feints and shimmies, plus his wicked initial acceleration, to regularly get the better of his opponents in 1v1 scenarios or generate room for a pass.

So composed and coherent in possession, the elusive Coric does a fine job of provoking pressing actions, in order to draw out an opponent to create a free man. If contact is made by a foe, though, it's impressive to observe the way Coric uses his low centre of gravity, balance and admirable strength to hold them off to persistently come out on top with the ball still at his feet.

Once in position to execute a pass, his expertise in this regard sees him connect play cleanly through his tidy range and vision, which means he's accomplished playing penetrative line breaking passes, cleverly lofted through balls over the top and combining intricately in close quarters.

Further positive can be gained from his intuitive movement, that enables him to precisely choose when to push wide to support his team's wing mechanics or drop deep alongside the centre-backs, with both key in manufacturing numerical superiorities to progress moves upfield smoothly.


Furthermore, he's also illustrated his capacity to find vacant spaces in between the lines and to pick his moments when to surge forward to embark on runs in behind.


Meanwhile, his defensive output would've also perhaps pleased the Giallorossi's recruitment team, for his intense pressing from midfield is a real feature of his play and competency at being deployed within a 4-1-4-1 defensive shape, one often utilised by Di Francesco, will prove vital towards his integration.

Another endearing factor of his work in this regard comes through his comfort stepping up from central midfield to harry opposition central defenders, something that Di Francesco instructs Radja Nainggolan, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Kevin Strootman to do.


Although he hasn't enjoyed his best season in a Zagreb shirt, battling issues with consistency, Coric has still demonstrated his undoubted class on many occasions.

Indeed, his 2.39 shots per 90, 3.52 successful dribbles per 90 and figures that state he completes nearly 80% of his passes into the final third still depict his compelling contribution.

All in all, while it'll be a massive step up in class for the set piece specialist playing in Serie A, his familiarity with moving abroad and the fact he possesses a set of attributes that suits this current Roma side beautifully, should see him fit in with minimal fuss.