Conte could find Romero replacement by unleashing “colossal” £65k-p/w Spurs “beast” – opinion

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Tottenham Hotspur extended their winning run to three matches in all competitions on Sunday as they beat Manchester City 1-0 in the Premier League.

Spurs, who were without manager Antonio Conte due to illness, came away with all three points against the reigning champions to move one point off the Champions League places.

Harry Kane scored the only goal of the match, in the first half, as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s industrious work created an opportunity for the England captain to fire past Ederson in the box – becoming the club’s record scorer in the process.

However, central defender Cristian Romero ensured that it was not all sunshine and rainbows for Tottenham as he was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence in the second half.

The World Cup-winning battler will now be suspended for the club’s trip to face Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City side at the King Power next weekend.

His suspension does now open up an opportunity for another player to be gifted the chance to stake a claim for their position in the team moving forwards.

With this in mind, Conte – if well enough to return to the dugout next Saturday – must find Romero’s replacement by unleashing Colombian Davinson Sanchez from the start.

The space is on the right-hand side of the back three and this is why the South American should be favoured over bringing Clement Lenglet back in, as the Barcelona loanee is a left-footed defender and should only be considered for Ben Davies’ spot – with Eric Dier in the heart of the backline.

Sanchez has only started six Premier League matches this season but has produced some solid displays when called upon. The defender has averaged a Sofascore rating of 6.83 and won 66% of his individual duels across 12 appearances in the division in total, although the 26-year-old has given away a penalty and only kept two clean sheets in that time.

Romero, meanwhile, has averaged an equal score of 6.83 and won 57% of his battles in 14 appearances in the top flight – keeping three clean sheets and not conceding a single penalty – something that indicates there is not a significant difference in the pair’s performance levels, particularly this term.

Sanchez, who Mauricio Pochettino once hailed as a “beast“,  has also averaged a Sofascore rating of 7.4 in his two FA Cup appearances this season and kept clean sheets in both matches – against Portsmouth and Preston North End.

The £65k-per-week gem has been described as “colossal” in the past by journalists Charlie Scott and Muhammed Butt and the 6 foot 2 machine has backed that up by winning 59% or more of his duels in each of the last two-and-a-half Premier League seasons – showing that he is a dominant defender.

Therefore, Conte must unleash the 26-year-old centre-back from the start against Leicester to see if he has what it takes to earn himself a regular spot in the side.


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