After the Coppa Italia final loss to Lazio, Roma will have to go another season without European football.

But as Juventus showed in 2011/12, that can be a good thing.

Here are five steps Roma should take to challenge for a Champions League S

spot next season.

5. Give Rudi Garcia more than one season to prove himself

After the huge mistakes of appointing Luis Enrique, who left after one season, and then his successor, Zdenek Zeman, who left in February, Roma must give Garcia the required amount of time to leave his mark on the capital side.

He took Lille from an inconsistent usually mid-table side, to Champions League regulars and then eventually, league winners. He can do the same at Roma, and after he made the breakthrough of Eden Hazard, Erik Lamela could be his next project.

4. Sign another Italian defender

It is no secret that Italian defenders tend to be the best, and Roma currently only have one starting Italian defender in the form of Federico Balzaretti, while their centre-back slots are often filled by the brilliant Marquinhos, and the ageing Argentine, Nicolas Burdisso - who should leave, or be used as a substitute - while the other full-back role is filled by Vasilis Torosidis, who has proved to be one of the best right-backs in Serie A.

Roma have had a very leaky defence this season, and the most likely cause of that is Burdisso. Davide Astori, Alessandro Gamberini or Angelo Ogbonna should clear that problem up.

3. Give Miralem Pjanic a bigger role

When Francesco Totti said that Pjanic is Roma’s most talented player he may not have been lying. Although Totti is Roma’s most talented player, Pjanic is a close second, and should be given a role similar to Totti’s to take some of the pressure off Er Pupone.

The Bosnian international has a great passing range, excellent ball control, and a ferocious strike from distance. If Roma can possibly deploy 2 attacking midfielders, they should look no further than a man who seems to be forgotten.

2. Sign a top striker

With Pablo Osvaldo seemingly on his way out after his verbal attack on Aurelio Andreazzoli, Roma must take the funds they get from his sale and invest it into a new striker - someone who has proved themselves at a high level.

Although scoring hasn’t always been a problem for Roma this season, accuracy has, with Mattia Destro wasting many good chances for the Giallorossi, he should also be let go. Alberto Gilardino should be top priority for the Romans, and if they can’t get him, German Denis or Giampaolo Pazzini should be considered.

1. Keep Lamela and Marquinhos at all costs

Although Roma have had a disappointing season, there have been two major good points, the emergence of two of the best young players in the world: Erik Lamela and Marquinhos.Lamela finished as joint-third top scorer and has been scouted by Real Madrid, Manchester City, Manchester United, Juventus and Barcelona.

Marquinhos on the other hand has been seen as a top target for AC Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester City, after Roma have reportedly turned down a £25m offer from an unnamed club, thought to be Manchester City.

If Roma keep their two best young players, they can build a backbone for the future, and with Alessandro Florenzi also shining in midfield, they have a bright future.


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