Football lovers were excited as the 2015-16 English Premier League kicked off on Saturday. The first fixture of the season was between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur – a fixture which has provided some classics in English Football. However, this match can be pardoned for failing up to match the intensity of the past as the teams have not picked up their rhythms yet. Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal handed debuts to all his new signings as the Red Devils managed a 1-0 victory over Spurs thanks to a Kyle Walker own-goal. The most intriguing decision of the day was Louis van Gaal selecting Sergio Romero over fan-favourite David de Gea who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid all summer. The gaffer explained his decision claiming the Spaniard was not in the right frame of mind and even though De Gea wanted to play, he felt leaving him out was the right call. De Gea’s replacement was Sergio Romero and his late saves has earned him some plaudits with fans suggesting he could do the job should De Gea join Real Madrid.
Romero has been Argentina’s first choice for some time now yet his career at club level has not been the most impressive. Second choice for Sampdoria last season, Romero only managed ten league appearances. Many United fans would have been pleased with the capture of Romero as a back-up to David de Gea considering his limited appearances at club level over the past two seasons. However, with De Gea’s departure looking more and more likely, Manchester United fans could see the Argentine as their number one goalkeeper. Whether Romero can be a competent replacement for De Gea remains to be seen.
ROMERO’S DEBUT PERFORMANCE
Playing ahead of David de Gea and Victor Valdes after signing for a club the size of Manchester United will send shivers down anybody’s spine and doing it in front of the club’s fans on the opening day of the season will not help the situation either. Romero looked shaky in the early exchanges as he misplaced a few passes but gradually grew in confidence and went on to produce two good saves at the death to keep the points safe for Manchester United. However, those two saves could have been easily rebounded had Manchester United been facing a team with a sharper attack. One of De Gea’s weakness in his early days at Manchester United was parrying shots back which led to rebounds for the opposition however, he caught most of the shots fired at his goal last season. Romero’s save might have secured all the points for the Red Devils but if the Red Devils are looking to make a real title challenge, he would need to step up his game should De Gea leave before the transfer window closes. United will be a great backup for Manchester United and will find it difficult matching the high goalkeeping standards at the club. Should De Gea leave, Louis van Gaal would definitely bring in a new face after Valdes and Lindergaard were deemed surplus to requirements. Take nothing away from Romero, a good debut with a clean sheet, but the Red Devils cannot afford to have a poor season this time and van Gaal knows that very well.