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Cristian Romero is perfect for physicality of the Premier League, says Antonio Conte

Cristian Romero is perfect for physicality of the Premier League, says Antonio Conte
The 23-year-old Argentina defender is on loan at Tottenham from Italian side Atalanta

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte says defender Cristian Romero is “perfect” for the physicality of the Premier League

The Argentina defender made his return to the side in the FA Cup win over Brighton on Saturday after three months out with a hamstring injury and immediately showed Spurs what they have been missing.

The 23-year-old, who was the Serie A defender of the year last season, is aggressive in the tackle, quick to read the play, harasses strikers and can also play the ball out.

He is on loan from Atalanta with Spurs having an obligation to buy and Conte is ready to build his defence around him.

The Italian said: “He is perfect for this league. But if you can play in this league you can play in all the leagues in the world.

“The problem is when you stay in another league, you have to ask if you can play in the Premier League. But when you play here, you can play in any league in the world.

“Because the intensity, the quality, the physicality that you have here is not present in other leagues. For sure Romero is able to play in this league. This league is a perfect suit for him.

“He’s an important player for me. He’s a new signing for me because he played the first game with me, only one game in the league.

Cristian Romero joined the club from Atalanta in the summer (Adam Davy/PA)
Cristian Romero joined the club from Atalanta in the summer (Adam Davy/PA)

“He’s strong physically, he has the timing to anticipate, good personality to play with the ball. Despite being a young player he has good experience, he’s strong. And I like him. For sure, he has a lot of space for improvement.”

With Romero at the back and Harry Kane spearheading the attack, Spurs have a decent spine that could propel them towards their goals in the second half of the season.

Kane’s season has come to life under Conte and the Italian has vowed to make him even better.

The England captain was ineffective under Nuno Espirito Santo as he had to come and find the ball and his attacking threat vanished as a result.

But Conte says playing Kane as a number nine is the key.

“For sure, for sure it is not simple. It is not easy to improve a player of this level,” Conte said.

“At the same time I think that Harry is improving a lot in his position because I think in this moment with us he is playing much more like number nine.

“In the past I have seen him a lot, often to go outside and I think that Harry into the box… he is very good outside because he’s also a number 10 and he has this quality to pass the ball and to make an assist but at the same time to kick (shoot) and to score.

“But I think that he has improved a lot in his position to be also a number nine, a strong number nine and I think he is improving a lot in the duels with his opponent, to defend the ball and in my opinion he is becoming a complete player, 120 per cent.

“He is a player that in this moment he can play in every team of the world and to be the striker.”