Barcelona's Malcom not as good as Steven Nzonzi - Roma's Monchi

Roma sporting director Monchi said on Thursday that he believes midfielder Steven Nzonzi is a better player than Malcom, who spurned the club to join Barcelona last month.

Nzonzi, who signed a four-year contract with Roma after a €27 million move from Sevilla, was the first player to join the club since Malcom left Bordeaux to sign with Barcelona.

When asked about how the signing of the France international compares to what Roma would have had with Malcom, Monchi praised Nzonzi.

"Don't you think a world champion is better than Malcom?" Monchi said at a news conference. "I didn't say I would have signed somebody with the same role. I said I wanted to sign somebody better, and to me, Steven is better than Malcom."

Nzonzi, 29, joined Sevilla from Stoke City for €8m in July 2015, but after falling out of favour, he was keen to find a new club.

"Monchi helped me a lot when I arrived at Sevilla," Nzonzi said at the news conference. "We were able to enjoy some great moments together, and there were some tougher ones, too. Monchi has great experience. He knows how to win. He has already won plenty."

The midfielder has been on an extended holiday since the World Cup and said he wants to help the team as soon as he achieves full fitness. In particular, he said he is excited by the prospect of playing alongside Daniele De Rossi.

"I will work hard to get back to my best," Nzonzi said. "I don't want to put a date on it, but I hope to be able to help the team as soon as possible."