Roma and Bayern Munich have agreed on a loan deal for Luca Toni until the end of the 2009-2010 season, and hopefully Toni will give a new dimension of play to Roma with his deadly heading and killer finishing. In fact, Toni could be the signing that turns around the giallorossi’s season into a more fruitful one, hopefully nabbing a Champions League spot.
What could be considered a crisis is going on at Roma: two seasons ago they were challenging Inter for the scudetto while playing some of the most fantastic football in Europe, but the following season they were unable to replace many of their important players who left in the summer, like Mancini, and Giuly. They tried to bring in players that ultimately were unable to deliver at the expected levels, and with many injuries, the club could only grab a Europa League spot. This season many players are recovering from injuries and with Totti coming back to form along with Vucinic, Perrotta, and Pizarro, hopefully Roma can start to string together some wins.
However what seemed missing at Roma was the lack of a proper striker, a big player that can hold the ball up well, get on the end of crosses, and muscle out opposition. Roma is filled with players that thrive playing off of the big center forward, Menez, Julio Baptista, Perrotta, Guberti, and Totti; they are all fantastic players, but none of them are quite the number 9 striker. Totti tried to play as one for a bit, and Vucinic could be a possible replacement if needed, but Roma need a big man up front, and Toni is the perfect man for the job. Roma could become a deadly machine with a 4-2-3-1 formation: with De Rossi and Pizarro playing as defensive midfielders, this could leave Menez, Vucinic, and Totti all behind Toni, free to create assists and provide crosses for him. Not only does Toni fit perfectly into Roma’s tactical plans, but he also has his own personal need to succeed.
Toni was crucial in the 2006 World Cup. He was the perfect striker, scoring two goals to help Italy get past the Ukraine, and also hitting the crossbar in the final against France. But now other players have started to shine: Gilardino has taken a starters spot with Iaquinta, Pazzini and, Quagliarella close behind. If this wasn’t enough competition, Amauri is looking forward to getting his italian passport in time for the World Cup, and Balotelli is still a possible inclusion in the squad if he begins to mature. As a consequence, Toni will really need to shine at Roma so that he may travel to South Africa in 2010, but he has something that might put him ahead of the others: experience. Having already conquered a World Cup with Italy, Lippi knows that Toni can be a crucial man to have in the team. Few players have the skills and experience that Toni has, and this is probably Toni’s last International tournament that he will be considered for the italian national team.
Do you think Toni will return to great heights at Roma? Can he get into the italian national side for South Africa 2010? Comment below!