Jose Mourinho has called out new signing Renato Sanches asking ‘why the centre-midfielder is always injured’.
His comments came after Roma got their Europa League campaign off to a winning start against FC Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday night, with last year’s finalists securing a 2-1 victory thanks to a second-half goal from Romelu Lukaku.
Sanches started the match but only managed to play 28 minutes before being replaced by Leandro Parades.
The 26-year-old has endured a difficult start to life in the Italian capital after Mourinho’s side saw off competition from Arsenal to sign the Portuguese midfielder on loan from Paris Saint-Germain back in August.
Since then he has managed a meagre 98 minutes for the club coming on to play 25 minutes of their 2-2 draw against Salernitana during the opening day of the Serie A season, but withdrew from their subsequent training sessions after Calcio Mercato reported he had been complaining of muscle pain.
Jose Mourinho has called out new signing Renato Sanches (pictured) questioning ‘why the centre midfielder is always injured’
Roma were in action in their opening Europa League match of the season last night defeating Sheriff Tiraspol 2-1, with Mourinho (pictured middle) watching the game from the press box as he serves a four-match ban
Sanches (left) was substituted after 28 minutes of the match, having missed several other games with soft tissue injuries already this season
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He was forced to miss their following two league defeats to AC Milan and Verona before returning to play 45 minutes of their game against Empoli but limped off after half-time.
And it appears his new manager, Mourinho, is growing impatient of his recent injury woes, with the Portuguese manager claiming that the situation is ‘difficult to understand’.
‘They [Renato Sanches and Houssem Aouar] have to play, they need rhythm and intensity,’ Mourinho said on the situation.
‘That’s what Renato is, he’s always at risk, it’s difficult to understand: Bayern didn’t understand him, PSG didn’t understand him and we have difficulties.
‘He played 45 minutes on Sunday, then had three days of rest and left after 27 minutes,’ the Portuguese coach added.
‘He is always in doubt, it is difficult to understand why he is always injured. Aouar played the necessary time to regain the rhythm of the game.’
The manager was not in the dug out for Thursday’s clash, starting a four-game ban which he was given after insulting referee Anthony Taylor after the Europa League final last season.
Aouar, meanwhile, limped off with an injury during Roma’s 2-1 defeat by AC Milan last week and has equally had a slow start to life at his new club after joining from Lyon in July.
Mourinho (pictured) claimed that it was ‘difficult to understand why Sanches was always at risk’
Sanches (middle) joined Roma earlier this season on loan from Paris Saint-Germain, but has only played 98 minutes of football
Mourinho also questioned Houssem Aouar’s (middle) recent injury record, but said Algerian managed to get some valuable game time under his belt in last night’s fixture
He was absent for their resulting game against Empoli with a flexor issue in his quad, but returned to start for Mourinho’s side in Thursday night’s Europa League opener.
Sanches, meanwhile, endured an injury plagued season during the 2022-23 campaign, being sidelined on several different occasions for several soft tissue injuries that included a hamstring problem and adductor issues.
His comments came after Mourinho sensationally said that Roma did not lose last year’s Europa League final to Sevilla.
‘I will also continue to say until the bitter end that we did not lose that final in Budapest. Every time people talk to me about it, I will tell them that we did not lose.’ he said prior to the game against FC Sheriff.
Roma currently sit 12th in the league having lost two, won one game and drawn another in an underwhelming start to the new season.