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Tottenham news: Spurs warned ‘they have overspent by £30m’ on Antonio Conte signing | Football | Sport


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Pundit Steve Nicol claims Tottenham have “overspent by £30million” on centre-back Cristian Romero in light of Spurs’ questionable collapse at home to Southampton on Wednesday night. The Argentine has recently made his long-awaited return from a hamstring injury and there was widespread optimism around the club that he would help Antonio Conte patch up his leaky defence.

While Romero was excellent in the 3-0 FA Cup win over Brighton last weekend, the same old problems at the back – including poor marking, a lack of organisation and concentration – resurfaced against the Saints as Spurs threw away a 2-1 second-half lead to lose 3-2.

Two well-placed headers in two minutes from Mohamed Elyounoussi and Che Adams tipped the game on its head as Tottenham’s lack of leaders in defence cost them dearly.

James Ward-Prowse was left totally unmarked for both goals and put the ball on a plate for his team-mates to head home unchallenged with two pin-point deliveries.

While the performance was perhaps not a fair reflection of Romero’s quality – particularly after three months on the sidelines – Nicol has now questioned whether the player is worth the substantial figure Tottenham will pay to Atalanta.

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Spurs boss Conte confirmed ahead of the clash with the Saints that Tottenham would be signing Romero permanently due to the obligation to buy included in the deal.

“He’s on loan but we have an obligation to buy. We bought him!” Conte said.

“He is perfect for this league. But if you can play in this league you can play in all the leagues in the world.

“The problem is when you stay in another league, you have to ask if you can play in the Premier League. But when you play here, you can play in any league in the world.

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“Because the intensity, the quality, the physicality that you have here is not present in other leagues. For sure Romero is able to play in this league. This league is a perfect suit for him.”

Conte is yet to fully settle on his first-choice back-three with Davinson Sanchez and Ben Davies still prone to an error or mishap in defence.

The absence of the much-improved Eric Dier was telling for Tottenham and his return from a thigh problem will be welcomed by his manager.

Spurs will now have to be on top of their game if they are to successfully bounce back against Bruno Lage’s Wolves on Sunday as the Black Country club bid to avenge back-to-back defeats against Norwich and Arsenal, respectively.

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