Cristian Romero is out for the rest of 2021 and then some, Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte revealed on Wednesday. ahead of Spurs’ match with Brentford (start time 2:30pm ET Thursday online via Peacock Premium).
The Argentine center back is perhaps a prototypical Conte back three defender and the summer transfer from Atalanta’s absence is a big blow to Spurs.
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Romero, 23, has a “serious” thigh injury and Conte said it could be well into January or February before Tottenham sees him on the pitch again.
And with the festive fixtures looming, well, woof. Here’s what Conte had to say:
“The news is not positive. Not good. The injury is serious. I think it’ll take time to see him again. Surely next year- we need to check his injury week by week but the injury is serious. Now he’s trying to recover but he needs a long time. He needs time to recover. It’s a pity because you know he’s an important player for us. The injury is very serious.”
Tottenham fans, already on edge, will worry about the club’s season fate. A 2-1 loss to Mura in the Europa Conference League last week didn’t help much. A Thursday test from Brentford is no given result, either.
And so credit to Conte for not indulging in a discussion about the January transfer window, which we know he’ll want to use, due to matches against the Bees, Norwich City, Rennes, Brighton, Leicester City, Liverpool, Crystal Palace, and Southampton before the calendar turns to 2022.
“We’ll see what happens. I repeat: We have to play many games and I need all the players. I count on all the players. I trust in these players and we’re working, we’re working well. I know it’s not easy when you come in during the season to bring your philosophy and ideas. But the players are showing great availability and this is very important. Because I know that with time we’ll improve in every aspect.”
Conte also praised Steven Bergwijn and Giovani Lo Celso, dismissing transfer banter about the former and issuing high anticipation for the latter’s debut under his watch.