The reception when Roma signed Aleksandar Kolarov in the summer was somewhat mixed. Some fans were eager to see what he could contribute to the team, whilst others were concerned with his Lazio past.
Now, nearly three months into the season, even the most stubborn of Roma fans will have a great level of appreciation for Kolarov. Any doubts fans had about him have been cast far aside, thanks to his outstanding performances on the pitch. He has certainly made an impression.
Kolarov has stood out due to his unwavering professionalism. He knows what it’s like to play at the top level, having been involved with Manchester City for seven years. This experience is being reflected on the pitch consistently, as his knowledge of the game shines through in his displays.
Even at this stage in his career, Kolarov is working hard to have an impact. He is putting himself at the team’s use, having played in all but one game, and he has always performed with maximum effort.
The Serbian full back has even got on the scoresheet three times, with a great strike in the 3-3 draw with Chelsea and a clever free kick struck under the wall in the season opener at Atalanta. He opted to go over the wall for his other Serie A goal for the club, against Torino. His willingness to get forward often is crucial for how this team and system works effectively. And his fitness levels have been commendable, given his workload and age.
His crossing ability has also come in handy on several occasions, with him providing several assists for his teammates. This is a major factor in Roma’s success this year, and is very welcome, given that other full-backs of recent years have not excelled with their crossing. Kolarov, in contrast, has stood out for his ability to play a good ball into the box, and thanks to that ability he has four assists to his name across two competitions so far.
The international break has now arrived, but a big game awaits after it. Roma will face Kolarov’s former side Lazio in what promises to be a competitive and exciting Derby. Perhaps if there are still a minority of fans unwilling to see past his former connection with the club’s rivals, a good performance in that game will be all that is needed to definitively convince them of Kolarov’s value. And with the way he has played for Roma so far, you wouldn’t expect him to be anything less than brilliant.
Kolarov has certainly proved himself since his arrival, and has shown he can still compete at the top level. Roma should be grateful to have him, and all the qualities he brings, as he continues to help the team succeed.