Cristian Romero has had a rollercoaster first season in north London, which has included successes and struggles. The Argentine has had to deal with injuries and quarantining, since his loan move last summer.
However the defender has become a key member of Antonio Conte’s back three and has added quality needed in the defensive line. Romero’s aggression in challenges but calmness on the ball brings the perfect balance alongside Eric Dier and Ben Davies.
The 24-year-old made 22 Premier League appearances throughout the last campaign, in his first season in the top flight of English football. The Spurs boss has previously praised Romero, which is why it was a blow for the Argentine to not be involved in the final few games of the season.
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The 2021/22 campaign has come to an end but before the Tottenham camp regroup and start their pre-season training, some are on international duty. This is the case for the defender, with Argentina facing Italy in the final of the CONMEBOL – UEFA Cup of Champions.
The clash will take place on Wednesday, which involves the winners of the previous South American and European championships and Argentina fans will be happy to hear Romero’s injury update, ahead of the final. “I had a blow, but I’m ready to play against Italy,” the 24-year-old explained, in a pre-match intervew with ESPN, as translated by @AlbicelesteTalk.
The defender then went on to talk about his move to Tottenham, which happened just last summer. “Few years ago, I wouldn’t even have thought that today I was going to play in the best league in the world in such a great club,” Romero admitted.
The Argentine continued and explained that Liverpool’s Luis Diaz and Man City’s Raheem Sterling were the forwards that he “struggled against” the most, in his first season in England. Throughout his first campaign in N17, Romero would often find himself making runs up the pitch, highlighting his impact at both ends of the field.
However it’s his defensive qualities which have made the most impact and his ability to settle into the team so quickly has been helped by those he plays alongside, which he admitted earlier this month. “With Eric, it’s been really good because he also speaks Spanish and with Ben, I have a great relationship as well,” Romero said.
“I guess you can see this on the pitch. We’ve put in a lot of effort since Conte’s arrival and we’ve done lots of tactical work every day.” The Argentine is clearly forming some good relationships at his new club and in his recent interview he also commended Harry Kane, explaining he views him as “the best striker in the Premier League”.
The 24-year-old could not make the most of his first season, due to his injuries, but he revealed why he thinks he suffered multiple absences and what he will do to try and overcome any further setbacks. “In my whole career I had no injuries, and this season I had three,” he admitted. “I think reason for that is that I [didn’t have a] preseason last summer. So now, I’ll do everything to have the best preseason this summer. “
This highlights Romero’s drive to work and improve, which will be pleasing for Conte to hear. Depending on the new arrivals, the defender may have to fight for his spot in the starting XI, but he has already made a good impression during his short time in N17.
Therefore the 24-year-old needs to continue learning and developing under the Italian at Tottenham, to reach his full potential and if he gets even better than he already is, Romero will cause even more of a threat to opposing sides next season.