‘Very serious’ – Conte confirms Romero out until around February

News Desk
Antonio Conte after Tottenham's game against Burnley was abandoned

Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte has confirmed that Cristian Romero will be out until 2022 after suffering a “very serious” injury.

The 23-year-old suffered a hamstring injury playing for Argentina in last month’s World Cup qualifier against Brazil and a second scan showed he will not be fit to play before 2022.

He will miss at least 10 games between now and January 2, starting with Brentford at home on Thursday, with boss Conte unsure when he will be fit again.

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Conte said: “The news is not positive, the injury is serious. It will take time before we see him again. Surely next year, we have to check his injury week by week, but the injury is serious.

“Now he is trying to recover but he needs a long time to recover. It is a pity because he is an important player for us, the injury is very serious.

“I don’t know, January, February. But for 2021 he has finished to play. We have to wait and recover well.”

Romero’s injury could force Spurs to act in the January transfer window, but Conte is playing it cool, insisting he has had no thoughts about what next season might entail.

“Honestly when I decided to become Tottenham manager I didn’t speak about this aspect,” he said.

“When you take a job, you have to make your evaluations and you have to feel your sensation. And honestly I felt Tottenham was the right club to work and to bring my ideas and philosophy of football. For this reason, I accepted the job.

“I didn’t talk about January or the way to improve the team. I repeat: I’m here because I have great enthusiasm, great patience to start a new work with Tottenham.”

Romero’s Argentina team-mate Giovani Lo Celso, who also returned from international duty with an injury, will also not be fit for the London derby with the Bees.

“Giovani Lo Celso, like Cristian Romero, they were injured with the national team,” Conte said.

“For sure it was a pity but Giovani’s situation is much, much better than Romero.

“My expectation is to see him the day after we play against Brentford. He’s started to work on the pitch.

“For sure Giovani is another player we need to try to exploit. He’s a good player and now I want to work with him.”