Tottenham Hotspur will need to make a late call on Cristian Romero this weekend, and after his defensive masterclass in the early hours of Friday, Nuno Santo may well want to take that risk.
The 23-year-old centre-back was in World Cup qualifying action for Argentina this week and it has since been revealed that he – and teammate Giovani Lo Celso – no longer have to quarantine upon their return to the United Kingdom.
That’s because Argentina was removed from the UK’s ‘red list’, so the South American duo no longer face ten days isolation at the club’s Hotspur Way training base.
However, they will need to return to the country in time for Sunday afternoon’s clash against Newcastle United, who will no doubt be buoyed by their recent takeover. St James’ Park could be rocking, even if Steve Bruce is still in the dugout.
Spurs have planned to fly their players back via private jet in a journey which would take at least ten hours to complete, so a decision will need to be made in the next 24 hours over their involvement on Sunday.
Should Cristian Romero start at Newcastle?
Kick-off in the northeast is at 4:30pm, so it’ll certainly be a quick turnaround, and if there are any signs of fatigue or jetlag, then it could prove troublesome.
However, Romero put in an outstanding showing overnight and it must have left Nuno eager to include him in the starting XI this weekend.
The £31.5m-rated colossus helped steer La Albiceleste to an important clean sheet against Peru in Buenos Aires.
As per SofaScore, the Spurs star was Lionel Scaloni’s second highest-rated player (7.6) as he thwarted the opposition with a colossal display. He had more touches (87) than Lionel Messi (86) and put in a squad-high four tackles.
Romero was also strong in his battles, winning 89% of his duels, including 100% aerially, whilst he also put in three interceptions – a key aspect of his game, having led Serie A in this regard last season.
Elsewhere, he was strong in possession, losing the ball just four times from those 87 touches. On top of that, he completed a whopping 96% of his 75 passing attempts – the third-most in the match, via SofaScore.
If he makes it back to Hotspur Way unscathed, then it must be very tempting for Nuno to throw him straight into the starting XI on Sunday. He played a big part in the win over Aston Villa, so there’s surely a huge chance that Romero features up in Newcastle.
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