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Forget Kane: Spurs animal Cristian Romero excelled on injury return

Tottenham Hotspur advanced into the fifth round of the FA Cup with a convincing win at home over Premier League rivals Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday evening.

Harry Kane scored twice – either side of a Solly March own goal – to see Spurs into the next round despite the Seagulls threatening a late comeback after Yves Bissouma bagged a consolation.

It was the England international’s night, that’s for sure. He curled in a beautiful goal for his opener whilst he completed his brace with an effort on the other end of the spectrum as he poked home a goalmouth scramble after a great solo run from Heung-min Son.

However, for all of the 28-year-old’s efforts, he wasn’t the only man to impress.

On his return from injury, Argentina centre-back Cristian Romero looked like an absolute Rolls-Royce of a defender in the 77 minutes he was on the pitch.

Who was your Spurs MOTM vs Brighton?









Antonio Conte was forced to withdraw early with cramp but the 23-year-old, who is on loan from Serie A side Atalanta, was playing his first game – and only third under the Italian – since November.

Not only did SofaScore rank him as the second-highest rated player for Spurs but the local press wrote glowingly of his display.

‘A dominant and eye-catching return to the side in the heart of the three. Composed on the ball, aggressive without it,’ said Dan Kilpatrick of the Evening Standard, whilst The Athletic’s Charlie Eccleshare dubbed his performance “very impressive” on social media.

Indeed, Romero was an absolute rock at the back, thwarting Graham Potter’s side every time they went forward, leaving Neal Maupay left frustrated in the attack.

As per FotMob, the Argentine led the match for tackles (four), recoveries (nine) and clearances (five). He also won 71% of his seven duels and was sublime on the ball, registering a pass success rate of 97% – which was even better than Conte’s engine room duo of Harry Winks (86%) and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (89%).

This suggests that he was a very hard man to get past and that he remained calm and composed throughout – as if he hadn’t just missed nearly three months of the season with a “serious” injury.

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Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne in action with Tottenham Hotspur's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

Okay, we'll start with an easy one... How much did Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg cost last summer?

It’s also no wonder that his teammate at both I Nerazzurri and in north London, goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini, dubbed him an “animal” who is “perfect” for the English game.

The £31.5m-rated star was arguably the man who stole the show against Brighton this weekend. Kane will understandably take the headlines but the 23-year-old’s display cannot go unnoticed, especially considering the circumstances building up to this moment.

Spurs will be hoping that he can remain fit for the remainder of the season as glory in the FA Cup and a place in the top four still remain on offer.

AND in other news, Paratici can truly kickstart Conte’s revolution at Spurs with “special” £50m sensation

Article title: Forget Kane: Spurs animal Cristian Romero excelled on injury return

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