Can Denis Drăguș be the main man for Romania over former Reading FC striker?

Romania face Ukraine in their opening game of Euro 2024 following two disappointing friendly results. The side drew 0-0 with Bulgaria before then drawing 0-0 again with Liechtenstein. For both games, head coach Edward Iordănescu went with a different lone striker. Against Bulgaria he opted for Denis Drăguș, who spent last season on loan from Standard Liege with Turkish side Gaziantep. For the second friendly the head coach opted for former Reading FC forward George Puscas.

Romania will likely be seen as the weakest side out of Group E, where Belgium will be the favourites. Finding someone who can score will be crucial if they are to have any hopes of progressing. Puscas spent the final months of the season on loan at Bari in Serie B, where he scored four goals in 15 games. He has a decent record for the national team, having scored 11 goals in 42 games. This will be his first major tournament for the side.

Drăguș, on the other hand, has been in much better form. The 24-year-old found the net 15 times in Türkiye in 35 games across all competitions. This form saw him return to the side after some time away. His last international goal came during a friendly against Moldova back in November of 2022. He has only scored twice for his country in 11 games, but his form this season suggests that his ability to find the back of the net has certainly improved.

While these two featured in the last two friendlies, Iordănescu does have two more options. He could go for the experienced Denis Alibec, who swapped the Romanian league for the Qatari Stars League last August and has scored five goals in the Stars League in 21 games. The other option is CFR Cluf striker Daniel Bîrligea, the only other Romanian forward to have hit double figures this season with 15 goals in 46 games.

Romania do have some creative talent in their side, but if they cannot find someone to be a threat up top they will struggle to get beyond the group stages.

GBeNeFN | Ben Jackson

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