Monchi says N’Zonzi is better than Malcom

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Roma sporting director Monchi is delighted the club have captured Steven N’Zonzi and believes the midfielder is better than Malcom – the Brazilian winger who joined Barcelona rather than the Italian club.

N’Zonzi, who was part of France’s World Cup-winning squad in Russia, moved to Roma earlier this week for an initial 26.65million euros from Spanish side Sevilla.

The central midfielder is seen as a replacement for Radja Nainggolan, who departed for Inter, but Monchi drew direct comparison between their new signing and winger Malcom.

The Bordeaux winger moved to the Nou Camp despite a deal having already been agreed with Roma but at the first press conference with N’Zonzi, Monchi insists he thinks they have got the better player.

“What’s better than signing a World Cup winner? Monchi said.

“They are different roles, but for me Steven is better than Malcom.

“I’m delighted to have brought Steven N’Zonzi to Rome. We’ll still look at any great opportunities to improve the roster. I am happy with what we have done – but you can always improve, that’s true for any club in the world.”

N’Zonzi was Roma’s 10th signing of the summer, but there have been high-profile departures as well, with goalkeeper Alisson following Nainggolan out of the club with his big-money move to Liverpool.

Monchi stressed the club are out to compete on the pitch, not just to have money in the bank, saying: “The club’s aim is not to make money, but to keep on improving and to win things.

“There are always discussions and debates, but President Pallotta has never said no to my requests, never. That is key for a sporting director.

“Roma is not a selling club. Yes, we have sold some players, some big players, but we have bought a lot of players too. A lot of players.

“At the end of the season we will see how it has worked out. That is another argument. But the club is always ready to invest.”

N’Zonzi, who spent six years in English football with Blackburn and Stoke, had been at Sevilla since 2015 but has been in high demand this summer after featuring five times for France in Russia.

The 29-year-old says his international triumph was not the driving factor behind his desire to leave Spain and also says he will relish the chance to play alongside club icon Daniele De Rossi.

“Winning the World Cup didn’t make me want to leave Sevilla – I already felt I wanted a new challenge,” N’Zonzi said.

“That’s why I’m here, at a big club that will help me grow.

“De Rossi is a great, experienced player. Competition here is not an issue, we can play together too.

“The holidays are over. I’m here now and I’m happy – I feel good. I’ll strive to be in top shape as soon as possible.”

“My aim is to give everything to help the team. Now I just want to work hard and show everyone how good I am.”

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