Cristian Romero was a shining light for Tottenham Hotspur as they crashed to a second successive defeat in the Premier League on Sunday evening.
Nuno Santo’s side have endured a tough week, losing to Crystal Palace last weekend before salvaging a point against Rennes a few days ago, and their poor run of form continued at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
After a positive first-half performance, the Lilywhites looked to have been holding their own in the London derby against Chelsea but soon things turned sour as the visitors found the net three times to win 3-0 in the second half.
But the showing from the summer signing will have left Nuno and sporting director Fabio Paratici hugely delighted as it was an encouraging outing before he was withdrawn in the 83rd minute with a knock.
In fact, you would not have realised that it was his first start in the English top-flight. If he stays fit, he’ll have done himself plenty of favours with his head coach looking on.
As per SofaScore, the £31.5m-rated colossus was rated as Spurs’ best player (7.2) alongside fellow new addition Emerson Royal, so despite them conceding three times, it suggests that they were perhaps not the two at fault.
Romero displayed plenty of attributes that saw him earn Serie A’s ‘Defender of the Year’ award in 2020/21.
In terms of defensive output, the 23-year-old was rock solid, recording three tackles (third-most in the game), two interceptions, two blocks, whilst he also won 83.3% of his ground duels, via SofaScore.
It suggests that he was all over the pitch in a bid to stop Chelsea’s frightening frontline involving Romelu Lukaku, who was largely kept quiet for the first time this season, and Kai Havertz.
Romero was equally adept with the ball at his feet, too, managing an 86% passing accuracy, which was better than the likes of Dele Alli (77%), Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (84%) and Eric Dier (85%).
It’s no wonder he was one of the few to be lauded by the press and the Lilywhites faithful.
Alasdair Gold at football.london claimed that it was ‘a positive first Premier League start on the whole for the Argentine’ and that ‘he dealt with much that came his way before cramping up in the final 10 minutes.’
Whilst “world-class”, “the only positive” and a “centre-back gem” were just three phrases amongst many others used by supporters, as relayed by HITC.
After signing him on an initial loan deal from Atalanta, Paratici will surely be delighted by this showing as it provides further encouragement to what Romero could bring to Spurs in the long run.