Tottenham have already completed seven transfers in the current window, but may now be looking for another in defence after they were dealt a Cristian Romero injury blow. The Argentinean centre-back has been one of Spurs’ most influential players since joining from Atalanta last year – but now looks set for a spell on the sidelines.
According to Football London, Romero could be out for around four weeks after picking up a muscle injury during the weekend’s frenetic 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The 24-year-old played a big part in the result, with controversy surrounding him after he escaped punishment for appearing to pull Blues defender Marc Cucurella’s hair late on.
News of Romero’s upcoming absence will not please manager Antonio Conte, who is known to be a huge fan of the player. And it may convince him to sign a temporary replacement for the star before the transfer window slams shut at the end of this month.
With Romero usually lining up alongside Eric Dier and Ben Davies in a back three, Spurs do have the likes of Clement Lenglet, Davinson Sanchez and Japhet Tanganga to call upon. But despite their apparent strength in depth, they were still heavily linked with other centre-backs at the start of the window.
They pursued Inter Milan’s Alessandro Bastoni for some time, but ultimately the highly-rated youngster decided that he wanted to stay in his native country. Josko Gvardiol of RB Leipzig and Pau Torres of Villarreal were also names mentioned, and it will be intriguing to see if Spurs decide to reignite their interest again in the wake of Romero’s injury news.
There was also some better news on the injury front for Conte, however, with central midfielder Oliver Skipp having resumed outdoor work as part of his recovery for his latest issue. The 21-year-old missed the majority of last season with an adductor problem, and then suffered a hairline fracture in his heel during the most recent pre-season.
But he is believed to be making good progress, and should be available for Conte to call upon in the near future.
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s Cucurella has spoken about his ugly incident with Romero on Sunday. Speaking at a press conference, the £62m signing from Brighton said: “For me, it is no problem. Before the game, I spoke with him [Romero] and it is a fight on the pitch. I have no problem with him and it is only an action in the game.
“For me, yes [it is a foul] because it was clear. In the game, out on the pitch, I didn’t see the video. But I think with the video it is very clear. This is maybe one error to the referee or the VAR. But sometimes the referees make good decisions, sometimes not good decisions.
“This is not my problem. The players are focused on the game and maybe we have to work hard to not concede this goal in the last minute in the next games.”