Following Tottenham’s late defensive collapse against Southampton, Steve Nicol has opined that the club overspent by £30m on Cristian Romero.

Tottenham signed Romero from Atalanta during the summer on an initial loan deal, with The Athletic reporting that the North London club’s option to buy the centre-back permanently for €55m (£46.1m) ‘essentially amounts to an obligation’.

This was confirmed by Antonio Conte earlier this week, with the Spurs boss stating that Spurs have “bought” the 23-year-old (Evening Standard).

The Argentine has was out of action for nearly three months with a hamstring injury and put in an exemplary display in the central sweeper role on his return to the starting eleven against Brighton.

However, Romero was part of the Tottenham defence that conceded two late goals against Southampton on Wednesday, with the Lilywhites failing to deal with crosses into the box.

Nicol believes that Romero should have organised the Spurs backline better against the Saints.

The pundit told ESPN FC: “I’m reading today that’s Romero’s going to be signed for £50 million.

“In my eyes, he’s done absolutely nothing! When you play in the middle of a back-three you’re supposed to be the general.

“And you’re going to turn around and spend £50 million on a guy who you wouldn’t say he was worth £20 million.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Pundits are employed to give over-the-top opinions in order to generate reaction from the fans and this is a classic case of a knee-jerk take from someone who probably has not watched much of Romero either at Spurs or at Atalanta.

However, I also have an issue with Spurs fans who insist that Romero is the best thing since sliced bread based on just a handful of performances. The 23-year-old is certainly incredibly skilled at reading the game and making interceptions but he has shown already that he has mistakes in him.

On Wednesday, the Argentine was too quick to vacate his position on a couple of occasions in his keenness to win the ball. That showed that he is perhaps not ideally suited to playing as the central sweeper.

While he did play centrally in a back three at Atalanta, the requirement of Gian Piero Gasperini’s set-up is quite different from that of Conte’s. To me, Romero’s performance against the Saints proved that Dier is much more suited to the central sweeper role at the moment.

That is not to say that Romero will not be a top player for us in the years to come but he is still quite raw as a defender and has room for improvement.

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