Louis van Gaal claims Sergio Romero has yet to prove himself at Manchester United and has revealed that the Argentine goalkeeper has undertaken ‘special training sessions’ to ensure he can withstand the rigours of the Premier League.
Romero was acquired on a free transfer earlier this summer and has established himself as the incumbent ‘keeper after it was decided that David de Gea, wanted by Real Madrid, was not mentally capable of playing.
With Romero between the sticks, Manchester United have had the most frugal defence in the Premier League so far, not conceding in the opening three games, while just one goal has been leaked in five matches across all competitions.
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But, as Van Gaal highlights, these impressive stats are not a demonstration of how supreme Romero has been, but rather a watertight defence has ensured that the 28-year-old has rarely been tested during his fledgling Old Trafford career.
“I don’t think so, because until now we didn’t allow a lot of shots or moments in our area,” Van Gaal said when asked at his Friday press conference if he was fully convinced of Romero’s credentials.
“I think he did very good saves but, until now, I think only maybe the save in Bruges at 1-0 was very important - and he did also a save against Tottenham.
“So he could not show what he can show, I think. But that is only a compliment for the team.”
He added: “We have had special training sessions with him and also with the goalkeeping coach and the players.”
Manchester United supporters will be just as eager as their manager to find out if Romero would be a capable replacement for De Gea, who may well still leave for Real Madrid before the imminent closure of the transfer window.
While Romero may be an experienced operator and a World Cup finalist, he is not the marquee name that would settle the concerns of fans were De Gea to leave. De Gea has been the club’s best player of the last two seasons, always dependable and often wonderful.
Does Romero have that in his locker? Doubts will linger until the going gets tough.
Is Sergio Romero the man to replace David de Gea? Have your say below!