While many have been fixated on the potential transfer of Gareth Bale from Tottenham to Real Madrid, in Italy, there has been a transfer saga going on as well. During this summer, Fiorentina have found themselves dealing with their own transfer saga with striker Adem Ljajic in relation to his refusal to sign a new contract and only wanting to be sold to AC Milan. After much posturing between player and club, Ljajic accepted a move to Serie A foe AS Roma in a deal worth 11 million Euros plus bonuses as reported by GianlucaDiMarzio.com.
By bringing in Ljajic, Roma have once again engaged in good business by signing and bringing a very good talented 21 year old who not only in the short term will improve the team and help make up for the potential loss of Erik Lamela – who’s rumored to be sold to Tottenham – he also offers Roma a player whom they can sell later on for a good profit. For Fiorentina, it is able to continue on with its season and not have the Ljajic situation be a black cloud that hovers throughout the season.
Aside from future re-sale value what else does Ljajic offer Roma and in particular what does he offer tactically? Ljajic can operate as either a second striker or as a withdrawn striker/attacking midfielder. Therefore if Roma opt to play in a 4-3-1-2 formation, Ljajic would play upfront with Marco Borriello with Francesco Totti playing as the ‘Trequartista’ behind Ljajic and Borriello. If Roma and coach Rudi Garcia opt to play in a 4-3-3 formation, Ljajic will play on the left of the three forward line playing as the attacking midfielder/withdrawn striker role depending on who plays in the center of the three attacking players upfront.
Now Ljajic has been involved in two very high profile incidents with coaches in his short professional career, and his behavior during the summer with Fiorentina has probably turned a number of people off. That said, he is a player who in the last year under the mentoring of Vicenzo Montella has matured on the field of play as he scored 11 goals in 28 Serie A games during the 2012-13 season. Once again, Roma have engaged in smart business by bringing in a great talent who will improve the team in the short to medium term, offers very good resale value in a year or two, and also weakens a league opponent in Milan at the same time.