Italy's El Shaarawy returns to Roma from China

·2-min read
Italy forward Stephan El Shaarawy returns to Rome after a year in China

Italy international Stephan El Shaarawy on Saturday completed his move back to Serie A club Roma after leaving Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua.

The 28-year-old forward left Rome in July 2019 for China for a reported 16 million euros ($19.5 million). He scored four goals in 14 matches for the club.

"El Shaarawy is a player who knows Italian football well which is important," said coach Paulo Fonseca of the former AC Milan and Genoa player who has 28 caps for Italy.

"He'll be able to help us immediately and I think he has useful features for us.

"He wanted to return to Roma and this is very important for a coach," added Fonseca of the player who scored 40 goals in 139 games for the club between 2016 and 2019.

El Shaarawy said he was relishing a return to the Italian capital.

"When I arrived in Rome the first time I realised how little time it takes for this club and this city to make a deep impression on you," he said.

"When I left I quickly realised that both would always be in my heart. Now I cannot wait to be once again representing this club and these colours."

However uncertainty remains on the future of Roma captain Edin Dzeko amid a fall-out with Fonseca, just two days before the transfer window shuts.

"I understand the curiosity, but it's a topic I don't want to talk about now. Let's see next week," added Fonseca, before third-placed Roma's league match against Hellas Verona on Sunday.

Dzeko reportedly clashed with Fonseca after the team's chaotic 4-3 Italian Cup exit to Spezia.

The capital side finished the game with nine men and were later handed a 3-0 defeat for making six substitutions instead of the five allowed.