Romero’s Transfer to Tottenham Exposes Dire Financial State of Serie A

After weeks of speculations, the wait is almost over for the fans of Tottenham Hotspur, as their club is set to unveil Cristian Romero as their first major signing for the summer.

As confirmed by famous Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano on Tuesday, the Argentine will fly to London to complete his transfer, as Atalanta have accepted an offer worth circa 55 million euros.

The 22-year-old launched his career in Italy through the gates of Genoa in 2018, before catching the eye of the Old Lady. Nonetheless, he never played a single competitive match for Juventus, and was loaned out to La Dea last summer with a buy-option.

Following a marvelous campaign that earned him the Best Serie A Defender award, the Orobici wouldn’t miss the chance to buy his outrights, especially on a bargain price set at 16 millions.

But with Tottenham adamant on offering more than the triple of this figure to secure the services of Romero, is this enormous sum justified?

Before answering this question, we must look at the matter from the perspectives of both Italian and English football.

Poor Mercato

More than a month has passed since the official opening of the summer transfer, and oddly enough, Fikayo Tomori’s permanent transfer from Chelsea to Milan remains the highest fee paid by an Italian club during the current session (29 millions).

Juventus are yet to make a single signing, whilst Inter have sold one of their major stars (Achraf Hakimi) due to their desperate need of cash, and the others aren’t faring any better.

Except for Atalanta of course, who are still enjoying their favorite hobby of selling players for major profits, with Romero to Tottenham being a prime example.

However, within the large Italian picture, a young defender with few years of experience under his belt being sold for 55 millions is surely an outrageous figure – especially amidst the current financial difficulties.

Simply put, no Serie A side is going to pay such figure for an up-and-coming defender, not even during the better days of the pre-Covid era… well perhaps in the exception of Matthijs de Ligt’s transfer from Ajax to Juventus, and coincidentally, the architect behind the operation has now been given the reins in North London.

A Whole Different World

Based on his ambitious dealings, Fabio Paratici’s appointment by the Spurs makes perfect sense. The former Juventus sporting director has been criticized for some of his knack of overpaying in regards to transfer fees and player wages.

However, in the Premier League universe, the former Sampdoria man’s spending would be considered pretty ordinary.

After all, he’s walking in a world where a good but far from extraordinary defender like Harry Maguire costed 85 million pounds. Moreover, Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Aaron Wan-Bissaka all costed their clubs more than 50 million pounds.

Therefore, Romero’s transfer fee won’t be jaw-dropping for any EPL fan. In fact, one would argue that the Argentine might be a little undervalued in comparison with the names mentioned above and the astonishing fees that accompanied their moves.


To answer the question posed above, every penny that Atalanta will receive for Romero has been justified by the player’s brilliant performances from last season – for both club and country. Whilst Tottenham will be paying a hefty amount, they will receive a formidable young defender in return, and for even less than some of their EPL rivals had spent on players who turned out to be flops.

However, this deal shed light on a major issue in Italian football. Even though English clubs have also been complaining from the losses they suffered throughout the pandemic, their ability to fund their transfer market remains unparalleled, as they are currently operating on a whole different level, with the numbers being too obvious to dispute.

Meanwhile in Italy, even the big boys are struggling to land one or two decent targets just to fill the essential needs of the squad, with most of the deals conducted on initial loan moves.

Although losing one of the most promising defenders in the world is considered to be a significant blow for Serie A, the issue is far more critical than that. The Romero transfer proved once again that there’s a world of difference between Calcio and EPL football. Italian clubs must be incredibly shrewd and creative to remain within a striking distance, otherwise, we can all expect yet another disappointing European campaigns for our favorite teams.

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