Tottenham defender Cristian Romero has ‘serious’ hamstring injury, Antonio Conte confirms

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Tottenham’s Cristian Romero was injured on international duty with Argentina  (Getty Images)
Tottenham’s Cristian Romero was injured on international duty with Argentina (Getty Images)

Tottenham have been dealt a major blow after Antonio Conte revealed that Cristian Romero has suffered a "serious" hamstring injury.

Romero pulled up on Argentina duty last week and missed the 2-1 win over Leeds on Sunday.

The centre-back, who was named Serie A defender of the year last season with Atalanta, started Conte’s first two matches in charge and a lengthy layoff would hamper the new head coach's rebuild – with Spurs short of quality and experience in the back three.

Speaking ahead of Thursday’s Europa Conference League match against NS Mura, Conte said: "We're waiting for another scan.

"Honestly, I think his injury is serious, I don't know now the time he needs to recover.

"We have to wait for the next scan and then the doctor can give more information on the dates for his recovery.

"I am not thinking about [signing another defender in] January because there is still a long way to go, we have many games to play and also I want to make my evaluations about the squad and players," Conte added.

"Now I am very focused on the present as the present for me is very important. I need to make many evaluations about the whole squad and then we will see what happens."

Conte will also be without Romero's international teammate Giovani Lo Celso, also injured while playing for Argentina last week, and youngster Dane Scarlett in Slovenia but will otherwise travel with a full squad on Wednesday afternoon, marking a departure from Nuno Espirito Santo's approach to the competition.

Nuno left his entire first XI at home for the visit to Vitesse Arnhem last month, frustrating members of the squad, but Conte confirmed he would shuffle his pack.

"All the players available will come with us and they must be ready to play," Conte said. "I need to make rotation because there are players that are a bit tired because they played many games with the national team and also we worked a lot in the last two weeks.

"There are other players that need game time. For us, this competition is important. We want to take this fixture seriously and we want to go through to the next step. For sure I will make rotation because personally I need to know the players much better because there are players I need to see during a game."

The Europa Conference League offers a potential route to silverware for Spurs this season, and Conte says winning a trophy must be the aim.

"We want to build something important and try and lift trophies together, this must be our target," he said.

"In England it is not easy because the other teams are very, very strong but I know we can improve a lot. If you ask me how much time we need before it happens, it is very difficult to tell you this. In our heart and mind, this must be our inspiration and we are to try to do this for the best of the club.

"I have found a group of players that want to work and improve and this is a good place for me. I can arrive at any club and I want to bring my ideas but if you don't have the ability of the players it is impossible. I have seen positive things at Tottenham and have felt good vibes. This is a good place to start."

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