Ossie Ardiles has admitted that he was over the moon when Tottenham snapped up his compatriot Cristian Romero last summer and lavished praise on the centre-back’s performances this season.
While Spurs fans were excited by the club’s capture of Romero last summer, few would have expected the central defender to settle in as seamlessly into English football as he has.
The 24-year-old has already established himself as one of the first names on Antonio Conte’s teamsheet and has arguably been one of the defenders of the season.
In fact, on this week’s Sky Sports Monday Night Football, Jamie Carragher named Romero as the signing of the season in the Premier League.
The former Liverpool centre-back compared the Tottenham defender’s impact to that of Chelsea legend Ricardo Carvalho, stating that there is ‘something special’ about the former Juve man.
Ardiles admitted that he expected Romero to be a hit in North London, having followed his exploits with the Argentina national team over recent years.
The Spurs legend told the club’s official website about Romero: “He’s absolutely brilliant. I was incredibly happy when he arrived at the Club, because his CV was wonderful.
“I didn’t see him play in Italy a lot. But he was voted the best defender in Serie A, and so on. I have, however, seen him play a lot for Argentina and in a very, very good team right now, he’s one of the most important players. Certainly, number one in defence.
“I was happy when he arrived. I knew it would take a little time to adapt, but he has adapted quickly. He’s also from my hometown in Argentina, Cordoba.”
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Even world-class centre-backs like Vincent Kompany, Jan Vertonghen, Laurent Koscielny and Virgil van Dijk did not hit the ground running when they arrived in the Premier League and took a season or two to get adjusted to the division.
So, with that context, Romero has done exceedingly well to perform as well as he has in his first season in English football. The 24-year-old is only likely to get better and better over the next couple of seasons.
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