Karpin’s former charge failed to impress Mourinho
In the fall of 2020, unexpectedly for everyone and without any prior excitement in the media, Uzbek forward of Rostov El Dor Shomurodov, who for three years has been in the Don squad with varying success, moved to Genoa. For all sides this transfer was ideal by and large – Rostov sold for 9 million euros a player who was bought for 300 thousand, and the Genoese, who can hardly keep their place in the Serie A, received a quality forward-tablet.
During the season 2020/21 Eldor played for Genoa in 31 games, scored 8 goals and made 1 assist. From his start in the new team until the summer Shomurodov received high marks for his game, and just a couple of months after the transition, Italian insiders trumpeted the interest in the Uzbek from Juventus. At the time it looked very strange, however, after Eldor’s solid series in the spring (5 goals in 6 league games) rumors were starting to get interesting details.
In the end, the alliance between Juve and Shomurodov remained alive in the journalists’ insides, which clearly was not surprising, as eight goals and a good xG were clearly not enough for the transition to a world grande. Had Eldor been 18-20 years old, the signing would have been justified by the very youth and promise, but for a player 25 years old at the time, the requirements, of course, are different.
Rome instead of Turin
However, the fantastic option with Juventus in July was replaced by an equally unexpected one with Roma. Just a couple weeks after the first rumors about Jose Mourinho’s interest in having Shomurodov in his squad, the forward was already showing off for the cameras wearing a maroon T-shirt.
Everything happened in a week. Mourinho first talked to my agent, and then to me. I could not believe that the deal would happen so quickly.
And the transfer was absolutely at the coach’s suggestion, the Portuguese had previously crossed paths with Eldor thanks to agent German Tkachenko, we took photos together, exchanged pleasantries on social networks. The player admitted that he was surprised by the Portuguese’s awareness of his game and statistics. Moura needed a center-forward after Edin Dzeko’s departure, and he got him as quickly and confidently as possible. However, Tammy Abraham, bought later from Chelsea, subsequently overrode Eldor’s figure.
Looking ahead and paying attention to Shomurodov’s statistics of appearances for Roma last season, it seems that things for the forward certainly were not depressing – 40 matches in all tournaments, 5 goals and 6 assists. But after a closer look, the picture is quite different – Eldor played only 4 full games for the “Wolves”, most often he came on as a substitute at the end. And yet he started very decent – 1 goal and 4 assists in the first 6 games, but Abraham began to give even more and deservedly won the competition for a place at the edge of the attack, given that Jose throughout the season regularly changed the scheme with a center-forward to attacking 3-5-2 or 3-4-1-2. However, it was most often Nicolo Zagnolo who was paired with Tammy. It got to the point that in the spring, the quiet and modest Shomurodov publicly issued a harsh comment about his situation:
I am not satisfied with my playing time, I want to play more. I have a good relationship with Mourinho. Maybe not as good as before, but still good. I have a contract with the club. If I play more, I will stay. But I no longer feel like sitting on the bench.
In the end the situation got even worse, Eldor continued to appear on substitutions at the end of matches until the end of the season. And with the opening of the transfer window the expected rumors about the Uzbek’s departure from the club in Rome began to circulate, which formalized the grand signing of Paulo Dibala, which in the long term makes Shomurodov the third forward of the team, not the second. That said, Corriere dello Sport added that Mourinho is not impressed with the Uzbek player’s performance in the pre-season training camp – the guy has clearly faded due to the rare game practice and is begging to go out.
Eldor needs a middle ground between the bottom and the top of Serie A
Shomurodov couldn`t get to the team with great ambitions and a coach with a “special” character. Italian journalists and fans attribute this coincidence of events to the character of the forward, he lacked the athleticism, which José appreciates so much. However, his playing attractiveness for the season in Roma, he clearly did not lose. A couple of days ago, a representative ProSports Management Kahor Muminov, leading the forward’s case, said:
Eldor did not go to the match against Tottenham because he is close to transferring to another club. Will it be a full transfer or a loan? It would be better to ask Roma.
And immediately after the agent’s comment with his information, Italian insider Nicolo Shira appeared, reporting that Torino and Bologna requested information on the 27-year-old striker. The clubs allegedly want to lease Eldor with a buyout option included in the agreement. There were also media reports of interest in Shomurodov from Monza and Sampdoria, but representatives of both clubs denied the rumors.
The option of Torino, who finished in 10th place last season, looks the most attractive, since the Bulls parted with Andrea Belotti this summer, and only Antonio Sanabria, Petro Pellegrino and Simone Zaza as their center-forwards, whom Shomurodov should confidently outplay given the proper conditions. At Bologna there is only 33-year-old scandalist Marko Arnautovic, who scored 14 goals last season. At Sampdoria and Monza there is by and large nobody to compete for a place in the starting lineup. The Serie A newcomers have loaned Gianluca Caprari from Verona, but he is more often at the position of a suspended forward. Eldor is very suitable for Serie A, he just needs to get into the right club to play steadily in the starting lineup, which is likely to happen this summer.