As he prepares for the next chapter of his storied managerial career, Jose Mourinho has added a new weapon to his Roma attack ahead of the new Serie A season with the arrival of Eldor Shomurodov.
Considering he is not exactly an immediately recognisable name, the signing of Shomurodov from fellow Italian top flight outfit Genoa -- for an initial fee of €17.5 million -- is likely to attract some curious glances.
Especially given Mourinho is arguably at a stage where he is looking to rebuild his legacy following disappointing spells in the Premier League at Manchester United and Tottenham.
Delve deeper into Shomurodov's story, though, and this could just be a match made in heaven.
Still only 26, the Uzbekistan international has been plying his trade in Europe for the past four seasons now and has emerged as one of Asia's leading frontmen.
Uzbek football has had several notable successful European exports in the past, with Maksim Shatskikh perhaps the most famous given his status as the joint all-time top scorer in the Ukrainian Premier League alongside Serhiy Rebrov on 123 goals, while also being the most-prolific Asian in UEFA Champions League history with 23 strikes.
But Shomurodov is the first from his country to have played a prominent role for a club in one of Europe's top five leagues.
After just over three seasons in Russia with Rostov, Shomurodov earned a move to Genoa last October and ended up featuring in 31 Serie A matches - with his eight-goal tally only the second most of the club in 2020-21 behind only Mattia Destro.
His scoring output is perhaps not nearly as impressive as his overall contribution throughout the 90 minutes, which may have been the main factor in Mourinho's seal of approval.
Standing at 1.9 metres, the powerfully-built target frontman offers a strong focal point in attack and is perfectly comfortable being deployed as a lone striker, which complies to most of the formations Mourinho has traditionally employed.
The Portuguese tactician's emphasis on defence also requires his forwards to offer the first wave of pressure when opponents are in possession.
Again, this is something the hard-working Shomurodov will have no issues with having performed that exact role for Uzbekistan at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, often singlehandedly pressing the entire opposition defence while still helping himself to four goals in as many games.
In addition to what Shomurodov will offer his new team, there is also plenty of benefit for the Jarkurgan native in joining the Giallorossi.
For one, he will have the pressure of playing for one of Italy's biggest teams who are looking to win silverware again after over a decade, and whose primary objective is still to challenge for the Serie A title again having lost won the Scudetto in 2001.
While Mourinho's time at Spurs may ultimately be regarded a failure, he did -- in his final months at the helm at the start of last term -- transform Harry Kane from primarily a goalscorer to the team's playmaker-in-chief despite being deployed in the No. 9 role.
Shomurodov is yet to have that amount of influence on games but has displayed the required skill set, and should be looking to take his game to the next level under Mourinho.
As things stand, the Uzbek is likely to start the new campaign below Edin Dzeko in the pecking order, although there have been murmurings of other parties being interested in the Roma captain's services.
In any case, everyone usually starts on even footing when a new manager takes charge, and the challenge for Shomurodov will be to prove to the notoriously-demanding Mourinho that he deserves a regular starting berth more than anyone else.
Based on what he produces on the pitch, Mourinho and Roma are getting just that: a player who will never be faulted for his commitment and desire, while also being quite handy in front of goal.
And for Shomurodov, this move offers him the opportunity to prove he is not just one of Asia's best strikers of his generation but of all time.