Tottenham: Antonio Conte claims under-fire Cristian Romero would ‘play on one leg’ amid injury questions

 (Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)
(Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I)

Antonio Conte insists Cristian Romero would play on one leg for Tottenham as the defender faces criticism over his injury absence on the eve of the World Cup.

Romero is set to miss Spurs’ final three games before the World Cup, starting with Sunday’s Premier League clash with Liverpool, but is expected to be fit for Argentina’s group stage opener against Saudi Arabia in Qatar.

The centre-back has missed three of his club’s last four games as he struggles with muscle fatigue, but did feature against Sporting CP in the Champions League last week.

Some fans have voiced frustrations over Romero’s commitment, with the 24-year-old having previous when it comes to putting country before club, but Conte insists he has no concerns, suggesting the defender may even have aggravated the issue putting himself on the line in the Sporting clash.

“About Romero I can tell you that for him, if I ask the possibility to play with one leg, he wants to play with one leg,” Conte said.

“For this reason I tell the fans we have players really committed for the club and maybe Romero, he had an injury because he wanted to risk and we wanted to take the risk. Then he had this injury but for sure many teams are having big injuries and this is because we are playing every three days.”

Conte again called the scheduling of the World Cup in the midst of the season “crazy” and also criticised the decision to restart the Carabao Cup before Christmas, just days after the final in Qatar.

“I knew it was crazy to put the World Cup during the League and the Champions League,” he added. “This type of schedule is really, really crazy.

“Honestly, it’s really strange that in England we start to play three days after the final of the World Cup. We are the only country to do it.

“The show must go on, this is the truth, but honestly if the fans think that some players try to protect themselves for the World Cup, this is not true, at least for my players. I see them every day, I see Richarlison with the desire to come back and help us. Another player would stay away - there is only ten days until the World Cup.”