After missing out on Ruben Dias last season and seeing the impact he had on suspect John Stones and Manchester City defense, Tottenham Hotspur stepped up and signed defender Cristian Romero. We knew a few days ago Atalanta had signed a replacement with the loan of Dimiral but still, we have waited for this big announcement.
The Argentine defender is not just any signing, Romero was named the best defender in Serie A by the league last season and with a fee reported to be around €55 million (£46.6 million/$64.7 million), he becomes one of the ten most expensive center-backs in history according to transfermrkt.com. Romero is such a difference-maker, he was rumored to be one of the reasons Messi is leaving Barcelona.
There has been a lot of talk about who Tottenham Hotspur also needs to sign to help the 23-year-old lead the Spurs backline. The reality is, Romero himself is the leader that the team needs. Dias did wonders last year for John Stones and it is quite possible that Romero can do the same for Davinson Sanchez, Eric Dier, and Joe Rodon.
At 5.68 tackles+interceptions per 90, which is in the top 99 percent of all defenders according to fbref.com, Romero is a ball-winner who likes to play on the front foot and is aggressive going after the ball. This aggressiveness will be particularly welcome for Tottenham who relied far too much on Davinson Sanchez to be the aggressive defender last season, while Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier sat back providing some depth.
Having both Romero and Sanchez on the field together – if Spurs move to a back three – would certainly up the athleticism and make the defense more dynamic than it was last season. Ultimately, Romero’s style will bring a similar mindset and work rate to the defense that Pierre-Emile Højbjerg does for the midfield.x
On top of all this talent and ability, Romero was a major part of the Argentina side that won Copa America this summer, playing four matches for his nation, taking his cap total to five. Such is the rising star found in this defender who could conceivably be part of the Tottenham backline for the next decade.
Romero is definitely the biggest signing thus far this summer and possibly in a couple but if this signing is not followed by some more player movement, both into and out of N17, the summer will not have been a success. Be excited for Romero and what he brings but know the work in the transfer window is far from complete but for once we know Tottenham got their man.