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A finally-healthy Destro took the first step last year—now he can become a star.
Francesco Totti may still be defying Father Time, but Mattia Destro is the future of Roma.
Purchased two seasons ago after scoring 12 times for Siena, much of Destro's first year-and-a-half in the Eternal City was lost to injury. When he finally got healthy, he showed just how effective he could be.
WhoScored counted 13 goals and an assist in 20 games for Destro last season. His conversion rate of shots to goals was particularly impressive. Of his 39 total shots (according to ESPN FC), 22 of them found the target, and he scored on a full third of his overall shot attempts.
Had Destro been fully healthy from the beginning of the season, it's possible he could have been in the discussion for the scoring title.
His season earned him a call-up to the provisional roster for the World Cup, although Cesare Prandelli left him home in his final cuts.
Destro's performance last season has attracted attention. Roma needs to sell at least one piece to balance out the summer spending spree that has seen Juan Iturbe, Davide Astori and others arrive in the capitol. The favorite to leave is Adem Ljajic, but a Sunday report from Sportitalia (via Football Italia) says that former German champion Wolfsburg has tabled a €25 million bid for Destro.
Destro is still likely to remain at Roma, who are preparing for their first Champions League campaign in four years. Expect him to get a lot of time on the field, especially in the league while Rudi Garcia tries to keep Totti fresh for European competition.
Destro will be on display on the biggest stage of club soccer for the first time. He can use that exposure, along with Roma's status as the top contenders to Juventus' Serie A crown, to cement his status as a legitimate star at the striker position.