'Great focus and great desire': Conte stunned by 24-year-old in Tottenham training
Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte has confirmed that Cristian Romero will be available against Aston Villa on New Year’s Day.
The Spurs boss, speaking to football.london, also said the Argentina international has been great in training since returning from the World Cup.
Romero missed Spurs’ Premier League return against Brentford after being given time off following Argentina’s World Cup win.
With Tottenham conceding two soft goals against the Bees, Romero’s return to the back line is a welcome boost for Conte.
“Romero is back and he’s available for the game against Aston Villa,” the Tottenham boss said on Friday.
With Romero helping his country to a first World Cup since 1986, he’ll have had less time than most to have to acclimatise back to club football.
However, Conte says he likes what he’s seen from the 24-year-old in training, suggesting he won’t have a post-World Cup hangover.
‘I am really happy’
At the same time, the Spurs boss warned that a “difficult period” lies ahead for Romero amid heightened expectations.
“From what I saw in last few days in training session, I have seen him with great focus and great desire to come back and play for us,” said Conte.
“For sure I am really happy for him and it is important to have in our team two World Cup champions.
“But he has to know very well that now starts the more difficult period for him because expectation is going to become high for him.
“For this reason he has to work even more and continue to work.”
Hopefully Romero will hit the ground running for Tottenham. With Spurs flattering to deceive far too often this season, his qualities are needed more than ever.
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