Team News: Antonio Conte claims Tottenham Hotspur defender Cristian Romero is ‘100 per cent fit’ to return from injury
According to The Athletic (Subscription Required), Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte has suggested that central defender Cristian Romero has almost made a complete recovery from his injury and could soon return to the starting lineup.
Cristian Romero was one of the more sought-after targets last summer when Tottenham brought him in from Atalanta. But despite showing some promising performances in the first half of the season, the Argentine couldn’t have a significant impact because of his injuries. A knee injury back in the summer, coupled with self-isolation, ruled him out for a couple of games during that time.
In November, Romero was sidelined again after suffering a hamstring injury while on international duty with Argentina. He has only made 13 appearances in this campaign – relatively poor stats for a player that Tottenham would have wanted to be a part of their first-choice backline this season.
In his recent interview, Italian manager Antonio Conte has suggested that Romero is on the verge of completing his recovery and could return to the team in two weeks. It means that the ex-Juventus and Genoa defender could well be back into the lineup after the upcoming international break.
“Cristian Romero, I am pleased because I am seeing how he is almost 100 per cent fit, and he is very, very close to coming back, and for sure, after the international break, he is available to play and help us.”
The former Chelsea and Inter Milan manager also lauded Ben Davies, Davinson Sanchez, and Japhet Tanganga for stepping up during a time when Romero wasn’t available.
Conte mostly used Eric Dier, Davies and Sanchez in the backline, but once Romero comes back, there could be a change to that set-up. A player with solid defensive knowledge of the game, Romero is mobile enough to keep up with some of the Premier League’s most dynamic forwards.
At just 23, he also has a long way to go before he enters the peak years of his career. But he also offers Conte short-term solidity and depth in defence, something that the Italian would appreciate. Moreover, Conte knows about Serie A quite well- a league where Romero made his name.
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Our defensive solidity has been tested several times in this campaign, which suggests the manager still has some work left to do at N17. But Romero could play a pivotal role after his return.
He still hasn’t played a considerable amount of games under Conte but fans would now be hoping that he is back in time for the FA Cup clash against Brighton and Hove Albion on 5th February.