A.S Roma has signed Nikola Kalinic on a season-long loan from La Liga side Atletico Madrid. The Croatian international found little room in the starting 11 during his stay in Spain and hopes his return to Serie A will provide greater opportunities to play with the European Championship on the horizon.
The terms of the deal are that Roma receives the loan of Kalinic from Atletico until June 30, 2020, in exchange for an initial fee of €2 million and then have the option to buy him for €9m.
"Joining a big club"
“It feels great because I am joining a big club,” Kalinic said. “I am proud to become part of this team and this club. Roma has big history and I am very happy to be here.”
Roma will be hoping his experience in the league will extremely useful in the upcoming season as the striker has 100 appearances between his time at AC Milan and ACF Fiorentina.
Kalinic will wear the No.19 shirt with the Giallorossi.
Patrik Schick Replacement
Kalinic comes into the Roma squad as a result of Patrik Schick joining RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga on a season-long loan with an option to buy for the German's. Roma will be hoping that Kalinic will be able to provide cover for the newly extended striker Edin Dzeko, 33, who at times over the year has had to carry the load all by himself for the Giallorossi.
Schick came over from Sampdoria two summers ago and is Roma's most expensive signing in its history. However, his start to life in Rome was extremely difficult for the 23-year-old Czech Republic international as he suffered from a heart problem which interrupted his first season at the club and essentially never was able to find his feet in the squad.
Only scoring eight goals in his career in Rome, Schick never managed to meet the sky-high expectations that came with his price tag.
Kalinic himself does not have an extremely prolific scoring record having only produced two goals himself during the last campaign in Spain. Roma though will be hoping a person with the experience he does will be able to handle the pressure-cooker atmosphere around the Roman based club, which can oftentimes swallow players up.
Roma's season could hinge on whether Kalinic will be able to provide the cover needed to allow Dzeko to get the proper rest time to compete over three tournaments this season.