Jose Mourinho takes off Houssem Aouar during friendly despite using all of his substitiutions
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Roma manager Jose Mourinho opted to bring off new signing Houssem Aouar during a pre-season friendly - meaning his side finished the game with just 10 men.
The Italian side had no more remaining substitutions after using eight against Partizani Tirana, in what was an eventual 2-1 victory.
The former Lyon midfielder made his way to the touchline with a confused and questioned look on his face.
The Portuguese manager put his arm around the 25-year-old and explained his decision as the Frenchman continued his saunter to the dugout to take his seat on the bench.
Jose Mourinho took Aouar out in the middle of the match out of his own free will and ended the game with 10 men after exhausting all the subs.— MourinhoXtra™ (@Mourinho_Xtra) August 13, 2023
Mourinho must be protecting Aouar at all cost😂pic.twitter.com/FcT8H4JCVB
According to Corriere dello Sport, there were two main factors that influenced the 60-year-old's decision to hook his new signing off.
The Italian news outlet has claimed that the 'Special One' took Aouar off to level the game, given that Tirana playing with 10 men.
It is reported that Partizani manager Zoran Zekic had made a mistake in the second half, bringing off a player to replace him with someone who had already been substituted off.
The referee waved away the manager's pleas to correct his mistake, therefore leaving the hosts with a player less. It is said that this prompted Mourinho to take his midfielder off.
Furthermore, Mourinho also reportedly made the decision to ensure that Aouar would avoid suffering an injury, as he had been on the wrong end of some rough challenges by Partizani players.
The hosts managed to halve the deficit after the midfielder was taken off, but Roma saw the game out to end their pre-season on a win.
'I Giallorossi' will kick off their Serie A campaign against Salernitana next Sunday. They will look to challenge for a top four place this season after finishing sixth in the 2022/23 campaign.