The Emperor Adriano Arrives in Rome
This week AS Roma completed the signing of Adriano on a free transfer from Brazilian team Flamengo.
The move gives Roma what they have consistently lacked over the last few years—a big-time goal scoring striker (outside of Luca Toni on loan).
Roma needed a big time striker to add to their strike force and Adriano is just that.
He's a big striker who can wreak havoc in the box.
Roma had lacked this until Toni arrived on loan in January. Toni had a few nice games but wasn't as consistent as expected.
So when it came time to make a decision on whether to bring Toni back on a permanent deal they decided against it—a good decision in my opinion for a couple of reasons.
Even though Toni scored five goals in just 14 games, including the winner against Inter, he didn't partner with Francesco Totti as well as expected.
He provided the size in the box that Roma needed but he just wasn't the same player that he was for Fiorentina and Bayern Munich.
Adriano will provide the same size and scoring ability in the box but he possesses more skill than Toni.
He can create a little more on his own and this should open up more space for Totti and Mirko Vucinic.
Another reason is the age factor.
Adriano is still only 28 years old while Toni is 33. Five years is a big difference, especially when you start getting into the 30s.
Money is also a factor.
Adriano came over on a free transfer while Roma would have had to buy Toni from Bayern Munich to make the deal permanent.
Everyone knows that Roma doesn't have much money to burn, and signing Adriano on a free transfer would leave more money to make other moves that would strengthen the squad (such as making Nicolas Burdisso's move from Inter permanent).
Adriano also comes back to Italy with a chip on his shoulder.
He had a strong couple of seasons for Inter Milan where he scored 48 goals in 123 games before his Serie A career was derailed. Adriano's contract was terminated by Inter after he ran into alcohol problems, and due to his being overweight.
He has slowly fought off his demons over the past couple of years after returning to his homeland of Brazil with clubs Sao Paulo and Flamengo. He has had two strong years scoring goals in Brazil, which is encouraging.
Despite this, Dunga left him off of Brazil's World Cup roster.
Roma also included a clause that would allow the termination of Adriano's three-year deal if he runs into personal problems again.
This makes it a win-win deal for Roma, who will look to make another run at the Scudetto and play deep into the Champions League playoffs.
Now Adriano is ready to return to the Serie A and show that he is still a top class striker.
Added motivation is always dangerous for opponents, especially when they possess the talent of Adriano.
Ironically, his first game with Roma will be against Inter in the Supercoppa Italia.
Scoring a goal would certainly signal the Emperor's return to Italy.
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