Antonio Conte has given his honest verdict on Cristian Romero after his return from injury in Tottenham’s FA Cup tie against Brighton on Saturday.
After arriving in N17 during the summer, Romero was a promising signing for Spurs but it wasn’t long until he picked up an injury which kept him out for a couple of months.
The Argentine returned to the matchday squad against Brighton and played 77 minutes, before being replaced by Joe Rodon.
Romero’s return against Graham Potter’s side highlighted why he was awarded Serie A Defender of the Year and the impact he can have on the Spurs side.
The 23-year-old made four tackles, two interceptions and five clearances as well as having a 97.1 per cent passing accuracy.
Playing in the middle of the back line, alongside Ben Davies and Davinson Sanchez, Romero showed aggression and fight to help Spurs with their 3-1 victory.
In the Italian’s pre match press conference ahead of Southampton, he spoke about the defender’s importance to his side.
“He is an important player for me,” Conte admitted. “He is a new signing for me because he played three games with me, and only one game in the league.
“He is an important player for me and the team. He is strong and he anticipates, he has a good personality to play with the ball.
“He has good experience and I like him. He has a lot of space for improvement,” the 52-year-old added.
Having such little time to work with Conte due to his injury yet still having a positive impact at his new club can only be a positive for the Argentine.
Romero will need to keep consistent with his solid form to help with his development under his new boss and be a composed player in the back line, in Dier’s absence.