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Opinion Piece

Alex Telles singles out Roma player who deserves special attention

Alex Telles has issued a warning to Manchester United about Roma danger man Edin Dzeko in the build-up to their Europa League semi-final showdown.

The Bosnia & Herzegovina international is part of the Giallorossi squad that will arrive at Old Trafford on Thursday night for the first leg of their semi-final tie against United.

Despite enduring a somewhat topsy-turvy season, the 35-year-old has been decisive in the Europa League knockout stage.

He found the net in three of four outings spanning from the last-32 to the quarter-finals, including a strike against Ajax that secured Roma’s last four place.

Since joining the Italian club from Manchester City in 2016, Dzeko has tallied 117 goals and 52 assists in 254 appearances across all competitions.

Regarded as one of the most lethal scorers in Serie A, the Bosnian striker is a permanent threat in front of goal, as Telles got to see first-hand when his Porto team faced Roma in the 2016/17 Champions League play-offs.

The Brazilian, who left the Primeira Liga giants to link up with the Red Devils last summer, has now warned his teammates of Dzeko’s scoring capabilities.

“I know Roma are a quality team with very good attacking players such as Edin Dzeko,” the left-back said as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.

“They have] players who create a lot up front. They are also very good defensively, an experienced team, they are not in the semi-finals by chance, there is a lot of quality in the team. I think they are going to be two great games.

“We are going into the games well prepared and confident of doing our best.

“He [Dzeko] is a quality finisher, he knows how to score goals.

“You are dealing with a centre-forward with real physical presence because of his stature. He is a constant danger, so we need to concentrate. I believe we have a very strong and focused backline to deal with this.

“We know facing a team like Roma in a semi-final that we are going to be up against quality players, and we have to be ready. I am a big believer that important games are decided in the details.

“When we come to these moments, the team that’s most focused and prepared will win the game.”

Dzeko’s recent record at Old Trafford offer further support to Telles’ comments.

He notched a brace in his last two matches at the Theatre of Dreams before leaving City five years ago.