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Tottenham Hotspur star Cristian Romero told The Times he thinks he is still mentally exhausted after helping Argentina win the World Cup at the end of last year.
Romero absolutely played his part in Lionel Scaloni’s men lifting the trophy in Qatar. He featured in every game along the way, starting six times for the now three-time champion.
Of course, the pressure was on the Argentine players. They knew that Lionel Messi was likely to make his last appearance on international football’s biggest stage. So it’s no surprise that Romero hasn’t had his best run since the end of the tournament.
Romero admits he’s still exhausted after World Cup
Tottenham have won one of their five league games since the restart of the domestic season. Romero has missed 90 minutes in his last four games, losing three of them.
It is probably fair to say that the defender is not at his best. And it looks like he’s still struggling to adjust after Argentina’s run to World Cup glory.
“Mentally I was, and I think I still am, a little exhausted,” he told The Times. “I enjoyed the World Cup, of course, but the first few weeks were very difficult for me. I had to prepare with an Argentine physio who was trying to help me because I was recovering from an injury – I was worried that I wasn’t 100% and I didn’t want to let anyone down.
“When we lost the first game to Saudi Arabia, my world went down, but I recovered to play against Poland and after that I started to feel better physically, which was very important for me.”
Spurs may feel they can’t afford to allow defender to rest
The problem for the Spurs is that Romero is too important to their ranks. Tottenham’s defense has been disappointing throughout the season. Eric Dier found it difficult to build on his promising start to life under Antonio Conte.
Davinson Sanchez or Japhet Tanganga would be the men to go in if Romero was fresh. And neither was particularly convincing on the side. Certainly, they failed to fill the void left by the 24-year-old.
Tottenham cannot lose any more ground in the race for the top four. So they probably feel like they can’t give Romero time to rest and recharge.
To be fair, Romero would probably be as bored as anyone if he rested so early. He is a fighter who desperately wants to win. And he will know that the Spurs’ chances improve considerably when he is playing.
But in the long run, it’s troubling that Romero is expressing feelings of mental fatigue with so much going on in the coming months for the Spurs.
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