Nicolo Rovella was all smiles after making his first Lazio start in their 2-0 win over Torino, admitting ‘it was a surprise’ to see himself in the starting lineup.
The talented 21-year-old midfielder joined the Biancocelesti from Juventus in the summer, adding a technical player with heaps of potential to Maurizio Sarri’s squad. He made his debut in the 3-1 loss to the Bianconeri, coming off the bench at half time.
Sarri decided to start Rovella against Torino and it proved to be a smart decision, with the 21-year-old quickly making a strong impression on the Lazio supporters, doing well across the 90 minutes.
Speaking in the mixed zone (via La Lazio Siamo Noi), Rovella first discussed his slow start to life with Lazio.
The choices are made by the coach, it’s fine for me to play with everyone because they are all strong players so there is no problem for me. Both Kamada and Luis Alberto are very strong, high-level players. Like Vecino, Guendouzi and Cataldi.
Now I’m 100% recovered. I had a problem in training camp when I was at Juve, so when I arrived here, I wasn’t fit and now I’m 100%.
He spoke about his work under Sarri, learning the tactician’s system.
Sarri has been telling me, since I arrived, that the positioning of the midfielder is important, especially in the non-possession phase.
I got used to doing it the way he wants, I had to learn a little. He hits this key a lot. Torino play like a man, so in the second half I found a little more space.”
Sarri’s game is completely different from what I did at Monza last year. In Monza it was more about one-on-ones, but this year it’s much more about positioning.
You have to think more and Sarri is demanding. I try to improve myself every day, I’m having results. I feel like I have to improve in almost everything.
The 21-year-old spoke about how it felt to make his first start.
Until this afternoon I didn’t expect to be a starter, it was a surprise. I couldn’t wait to play here at the Olimpico with the fans, great emotion at the beginning and I felt very excited. I was very happy.
Rovella discussed his relationship with Danilo Cataldi.
I have a wonderful relationship with Danilo, before coming here we wrote messages to each other and he is a very good guy.
He is helping me a lot because when the coach tells me things that I don’t understand, he explains to me.
He is certainly a great player, he’s improved a lot since the coach has been here. It’s a delicate role, so I feel great with him too.
He was asked if the win over Torino could be a turning point for Lazio.
It must be the turning point match, we had a difficult start. During the week we met Napoli and we won, Juve we lost at home and then Atletico Madrid we drew.
We have always met great teams. It’s okay that we drew with Monza, but today’s victory was fundamental. Let’s start from here to play in Milan on Saturday.
He was asked what happened in the training retreat.
Nothing special happened, we talked to each other and also to the coach. We looked at each other and we also looked at the results. Tonight we saw it, we grouped together.
Today we saw on the pitch, we were more compact. It must be the turning point match this season.
Finally, Rovella reflected on his first month with Lazio.
Definitely everything is different to what I’ve been used to so far in my career. So, everything is very nice, I’m trying to settle in in the best possible way. The fans are incredible, Formello is crazy. We have everything.