Renato Sanches explains why he is ready to ‘play any position’ in the Roma midfield and expresses his frustration with the injuries that have derailed his career.

The Portuguese talent had his first start in this evening’s 7-0 win over Empoli at the Stadio Olimpico and also got his first goal with a well-worked team move and header.

“It was a very important moment, because it was my first start and it is always difficult coming off an injury,” Renato Sanches told DAZN.

“I am very happy to be here, happy to score and happy to win our first game of the season.”

The 26-year-old had struggled after his big money move to Paris Saint-Germain, including with a series of injury problems, so is hoping to rediscover his form at the Olimpico.

“In all these years I’ve been working, I stayed very professional and do everything I need to do, so the injuries are not in my control. I hope these injuries have gone, because I love football and want to show what I can do. Injuries are not nice for any player, I need to play and to be good physically.

“I am sure this year that I will do everything to be in very good shape, show my potential and help the team do its best.”

Sanches was asked if he was content with the box-to-box midfielder role in Roma’s 3-5-2 formation.

“I can play a lot of positions, on the right side, Number 6, Number 8, it’s my culture to have the ball and drive the ball. If I feel good physically, I think that I can play in any position and have no problems when I feel strong. I have quality and if I feel fresh, I can play in any position throughout the team.”

It is possible that Renato Sanches will have to play as a Number 6, because then Bryan Cristante can drop down into defence with Chris Smalling and Marash Kumbulla out injured.

He arrived on loan from PSG with an option to make the move permanent at the end of the season.

“Playing football is the best thing in the world. Being at Roma is exciting, as I spoke to the coach and director, I know the fans feel football and that is what I need at this moment, to fall back in love with football. When you have a series of injuries, it is hard to get in shape, to show your football, but you must never give up and try to stay professional all the time.

“I believe the best is yet to come, I will always continue working and if I feel good physically, I think I will have a very, very good season.”

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