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Cristian Romero signing could transform Tottenham

There is barely a ‘Big Six’ Premier League club not in the market for a new central defender this summer. Raphael Varane is expected in England this week to complete a move to Manchester United while Arsenal have spent £50m on signing Ben Write from Brighton. This is after Liverpool captured Ibrahima Konate and Chelsea reportedly close to sealing a deal for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde. Tottenham Hotspur are also thought to be prioritising the position, with Cristian Romero at the top of their shortlist

New manager Nuno Espirito Santo is expected to implement his trademark 3-5-2 shape on Spurs, but the North London club are currently somewhat sort on options at the back to truly make that formation work. It’s claimed Tottenham Hotspur have agreed a fee for the Atalanta defender over a switch to the Premier League, with the Serie A club set to receive £43m  for the player. A transfer could be completed within days.

Although their transfer business this summer has underwhelmed, this would be a transformational signing. It would, at least, transform Spurs’ backline ahead of a crucially important season for the North London club. Tottenham can’t afford another campaign like the last one and the signing of Romero signing would help them avoid that.

Romero is widely seen as one of the best centre backs in the Italian game. In fact, no defender in Serie A shone brighter than the Argentine last season, with the 23-year-old carrying his club form into the Copa America where he helped his national team go all the way. Romero is already of the highest calibre and has the potential to improve even further at Tottenham.

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Statistically, Romero measures up rather well to Tottenham’s current defensive options. He won more aerial duels per 90 minutes (four) last season than any Spurs player. Romero also averaged more interceptions per 90 minutes (3.4) than any of his potential new teammates and boasted a pass accuracy rate (86%) not far behind Tottenham’s best defensive passer, Joe Rodon (88%).

With Toby Alderweireld gone, following on from Jan Vertonghen’s exit last summer, Spurs lack a dominant central defender to anchor things at the back. Rodon could potentially grow into that figure, but the Welsh international remains raw in his execution of many aspects of the game. Romero, though, is the complete package.

He has the physical attributes to succeed in the Premier League, is fast across the ground and is technically able with the ball at his feet. Nuno’s 3-5-2 system relies on the defenders playing out from the back and so it’s important that Romero can pick a pass. This is something that led Nuno and Spurs to the Argentine in the first place.

Of course, Nuno will need to get the right players around Romero to give him the best chance of success at Tottenham. In the right wing back role, Matt Doherty could be used – Nuno got the best out of the Republic of Ireland international at Wolves, after all. And on the left side, Sergio Reguilon has the energy to be an effective outlet.

There are, however, doubts over Davinson Sanchez, who would likely be Romero’s central defensive partner alongside Rodon. It’s even been suggested that the Colombian could be sold by Tottenham this summer should the right offer be made for him such is the concern over his lack of growth over the last few years. Romero won’t fix everything on his own.

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Nonetheless, Romero’s arrival in North London this summer would be a symbol of Tottenham Hotspur’s commitment to Nuno as their new manager. The Argentine has the attributes to be one of the best centre backs in Europe for years to come and that gives Spurs a lot to mould their new team with.



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