New Roma signing Borja Mayoral says Zinedine Zidane wanted him to stay at Real Madrid and insists he can play alongside Edin Dzeko.
“I want to thank Fienga and the club for giving me the opportunity to be here today. I really wanted to join Roma,” the former Real Madrid man said on his official unveiling on Wednesday.
“I arrived a little late, but the important thing is that I am here now.”
The Spaniard joined the Giallorossi on a two-year-loan deal worth €2m with the Giallorossi who also have an option to buy the player on a permanent deal.
“During the summer my agent informed me about the interest of Roma and many other clubs, but this club aroused my interest, it immediately attracted me and convinced me.
“Real Madrid wanted me to stay, but in the end they allowed me to leave and the conversations with Fienga and the coach were decisive to make it happen. I also want to thank Real Madrid for allowing me to be where I am today.
“In the summer I immediately expressed the desire to leave the club as soon as possible. Following a meeting with [Zinedine] Zidane, he expressed a wish for me to stay and so I stayed longer. My wish was to leave, because I thought I would have more opportunities to grow and to play somewhere else.
“The club listened to Zidane’s demands and tried to keep hold of me maybe they wanted [Luka] Jovic to leave, but eventually the operation went through. I spoke to Zidane again in his office and explained to him that I could not reject the opportunity to play with a club like Roma and grow up with my football.”
So, what can he give to Roma?
“I consider myself a young striker, who is very eager, very hungry, who gained some experience already in the La Liga. A striker who scores, who plays well in the penalty area, but who also moves well, who can help the team with his movements, making assists.
“For me Roma is definitely a point of arrival, I have been here for just ten days and I am very satisfied with my choice, happy with the club and the teammates. I feel comfortable.
“At the moment I can’t help but consider myself a player more of Roma than of Real Madrid, because in addition to having signed a two-year contract, Roma will have the option to sign me at the end of this season and at the end of the following one”.
Many think the 23-year-old will be used a backup to Edin Dzeko but Mayoral believes he can play together with the Roma captain.
“Why not? I know Dzeko as a footballer, he has different characteristics from mine. Having two strikers with different characteristics can be very useful. We can complete each other.
“I don’t consider myself Dzeko’s backup. We are two strikers and I come with a great desire to do well and help Roma to reach its goals, to help this team.
“I’m also here to learn from a striker like Dzeko, a great footballer with great experience, but I’m sure there will be a healthy competition between us.”