Tottenham Hotspur have had a £43milllion bid for Atalanta defender Cristian Romero accepted as new manager Nuno Espirito Santo looks to bolster his defence.
Following the sale of Toby Alderweirled to Qatari side Al-Duhail, Spurs are in the market for a new centre-back and appear set to land the Argentine to replace the Belgian.
That has now paved the way for Spurs to come in and have a clear run at bringing in the Copa America winner.
But who is the young defender set to join the Premier League? talkSPORT.com takes a look at who he is and why the Lilywhites want him…
At just 23 years old, Romero he has been a highly sought after player this summer on the back of a strong campaign.
The centre-back helped Atalanta – a club that was relegated to Serie B ten years ago – finish third in Serie A and secure qualification for the Champions League for the third successive season.
He made 29 league appearances and his statistics were very impressive, as he was named the Serie A defender of the season.
Cristian Romero Serie A stats 2020/21
Tackles per match: 2
Interceptions per match: 3.1
Fouls per match: 2.3
Clearances per match: 2.2
Blocks per match: 0.4
Something that is quite remarkable given he has only played at Atalanta for one season.
Romero joined the Italian side last summer on loan from Juventus, with the option to buy. Atalanta are now set to trigger a deal to sign the centre-back for around £13.6million [€16m], before immediately cashing in and selling him to Spurs.
That’s a tidy profit for a player whose breakout Serie A season led to Romero being called up as part of Argentina’s squad for the Copa America.
He went on to play three times, keeping as many clean sheets as part of a beck line that helped Lionel Messi win his first ever international trophy, beating arch rivals Brazil 1-0 in the final.
Just as the player’s profile could not get any more impressive, he broke a record that was previously set by one of Argentina’s greatest players – Diego Maradona.
In just his second match for his country, Romero scored his first goal.
What is so incredible about this feat is the time it took to achieve it, just 130 seconds – breaking Maradona’s record for the fastest-scored goal in Argentina history, which stood since 1985, by a full 38 seconds.
Whilst not a meaningful statistic to display the type of player he is, it’s an incredible accomplishment nonetheless.
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Based on everything Romero has achieved so far, it really is a no-brainer why Spurs want him so desperately.
The club’s defensive struggles were clear to see last season with Jose Mourinho and interim manager Ryan Mason constantly changing the back line.
Different partnerships and formations brought inconsistency which ultimately cost Mourinho his job and led to a very poor season for the club, with Spurs finishing seventh in the Premier League.
With former team-mate goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini signing for Tottenham recently, it makes a great deal of sense to secure the defender in an attempt to rectify the club’s frailties at the back from the last 12 months.