‘A phenomenon’ – What people have said about Cristian Romero as Tottenham transfer talks advance

Tottenham are now up and running in the summer transfer window following the arrival of Pierluigi Gollini from Atalanta.

Signed on a season-long loan deal with an option to buy, the goalkeeper is expected to be the first of a number of new signings in N17 as Fabio Paratici aims to give Nuno Espirito Santo some fresh faces to work with.

Gollini looks set to be joined in the capital by former Atalanta teammate Cristian Romero providing that Tottenham can agree on a deal with the Italian side.

Currently halfway through a two-year loan deal from Juventus, the centre-back is expected to join Atalanta on a permanent deal before they then sell him to the Lilywhites for a tidy profit.

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The club have been in advanced negotiations for the Argentina defender and there is a growing confidence within Spurs that an agreement can be reached as talks continue to progress over a complicated and carefully structured deal.

Romero, who is expected to cost around £38.5m, is believed to be keen on reuniting with Gollini at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Rated incredibly highly in Italy and sealing a move to Juventus in 2019 after excelling for Genoa, the 23-year-old was named Serie A Defender of the Year in his first season on loan at Atalanta in 2020/21.

So what has been said about Romero over the past couple of seasons? football.london takes a look.

Italian football agent Furio Valcareggi on Romero

“He’s a great player, very good. [Cesare] Prandelli, who managed him, said that he had never seen such a strong player.

“If I were Paratici and Tottenham, I would take him immediately. You will put the defence in place for 10 years. Just like if you take Koulibaly, he sets your defence in one fell swoop. He’s the Ronaldo of defending.”

The front page of Tuttosport after Juventus had signed Romero

“Juve, you have taken a phenomenon.”

Italian publication Tuttosport hailed Juventus' deal to sign Cristian Romero
Italian publication Tuttosport hailed Juventus’ deal to sign Cristian Romero

Former Genoa boss Cesare Prandelli on Romero

“I have never coached a 20-year-old boy with these qualities. Romero is a player who can play without problems in any type of system. He has resilience and physical prowess.

“He needs an experienced player close by to help him understand times and situations. Then playing three or four is a false problem, if a player is limited to playing only one way, that’s not good.

“Romero is a player who can play three or four without problems. He has resilience and physical prowess, he has to improve his technical set-up, he has to speed up the action, he has to learn to change the game but the base is extraordinary.”

Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni on Romero

“We decide the players by training. Cristian we believe he had a very good season. What we saw in the practices and in different tests. He left us very satisfied. It is the moment to play and demonstrate.

“It is his first game but we believe that he has conditions and he was designated as the best center-back in Serie A, but the award was not necessary for us to take it into account. We believe that the decision is correct.

“He has all our confidence, he is a spectacular boy. It has all the conditions to be here for many years.”

Former Genoa player Claudio Onofri on Romero

“I had seen him play in Belgrano and then when he arrived at Genoa he was placed in the Primavera. I followed him, he seemed good to me but he didn’t make all this impression on me.

“Then when I saw him debut in Turin against Juve, after twenty minutes I had no doubts: you see the football intelligence, the personality in setting up, the advance.

“When he arrived in Italy, Thiago Silva gave that impression. I am not saying that he is the new Thiago Silva but he has big potential.”

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