Roma coach Mourinho: People told me Zaniolo was a disaster as a professional – then I met him

AS Roma coach Jose Mourinho admits he feared losing Nicolo Zaniolo over the summer.

The midfielder laid on two assists for their Europa League win at HJK Helsinski last night.

Asked if he was worried Zaniolo could be leaving before the summer market shut, Mourinho said: “The director (Tiago Pinto) never came to me to say: ‘this possibility exists’. Never. You read so many things, especially in the summer.

“I knew he was an important player for us, with different qualities than the others. He’s the only one with this physical potential. Yes, I was a little scared. Not so much because the manager never said there were possibilities.

“He’s a good guy, they told me he was a disaster as a professional. Either it was lies or he changed. Never saw him arrive late, never problems.”