A player with so much enthusiasm, promise, and character. ‘Forza Lazio’ was all Riza Durmisi could say when joining La Prima Squadra della Capitale this past summer from Real Betis in Spain. Despite all this, the 25-year-old has not settled well in Rome. 31 matches into the 2018/19 Serie A TIM, he has collected only eight appearances – with just one start – for a total of 196 minutes. From this period, he has managed to pick up four yellow cards – which is a sanction every 49 minutes – and is now just one yellow card away from a suspension. While stats are not everything, it is important to note that Durmisi has been unable to show what he is capable of on the pitch firstly due to confidence, and second, injury.
This season, Senad Lulic continued was the starter on the left flank, but Durmisi was purchased for the reason of a replacement for the Bosnian captain. This was because Jordan Lukuku, the only other player suited for the left flank, was still injured. However, Lulic has kept his starting role over the season, essentially playing every match and every minute within it. Quite the disappointment for Durmisi who was looking to shine and slowly gain the faith of the Lazio faithful. In addition, he has missed nine matches this season (47 days) due to injury. With this comes a timeline to actually regain full conditioning which keeps him out for even longer. Bad fortune, as of late, Simone Inzaghi was starting to integrate him into the side. We were finally starting to see cameos of the Danish left win-back. This started to occur following the 1-1 draw against Fiorentina, as he came on as a substitute against Parma, Inter, Spal, and most recently, Milan. However, his most recent match will be one that he will soon want to forget.
Entering the field in the 74′ for Lulic, four minutes later there was a penalty to Milan. A deeply hit long ball into the box from Diego Laxalt was sent towards Mateo Musacchio, but as he had gotten to the ball, he was checked into by Durmisi who was flying in from the opposite side of the pitch. Clearly missing, the referee blew to the spot, and Franck Kessie converted. 1-0 to the Rossoneri, three points lost… Below, Vittorio Campanile analyzes the match and ‘that’ challenge.