As Manchester United and Manchester City fans eagerly anticipate and countdown to the derby between the City’s two biggest clubs, one player that will approach the game with much more suspense and uncertainty is no other player than United’s Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero who has played back-up to first choice and La Roja’s (Spanish team) number one David De Gea.
Romero was signed in the summer of 2015 by then manager Louis Van Gaal after De Gea was persistently linked with a move back to his homeland of Madrid. Romero after his signing started in United’s first two games maintaining a clean sheet as Louis Van Gaal’s team beat the likes of Tottenham and Aston Villa scoring two goals in the process. Things will unfortunately changed as De Gea was restored to the starting line-up in subsequent games after he asked to be left out considering he wasn’t in the right frame of mind to play for United after the summer links with Real Madrid.
Romero will then go on to make ten appearances for United last season before the appointment of Portuguese Jose Mourinho in the summer. Although United are out of form having gained only two points in the last three games in the league conceding five goals and scoring one, one shocking thing to fans is the sublime form of De Gea who has been United’s best player saving his side on numerous occasions with his impressive saves. This is not the first time this is happening as the Spaniard has been United’s best players in the past two years under Van Gaal.
This season, Romero has started just two games which was against Ukrainian club Zorya Luhansk in the Europa League (United won 1-0) and also against Northampton Town in the league cup’s third round which United won 3-1. Against Fenerbahce last week in the .Europa League, Romero was widely expected to start but fans were stunned when Mourinho opted to retain the Spaniard as United again won 4-1.
This evening, it is a bit difficult to predict who will start in goal considering Romero should normally play Cup competitions while De Gea plays in the League but when one realises the pressure Jose Mourinho faces at the moment having lost embarrassingly to Chelsea on Sunday (4-0 defeat and lying 7th in the table, six points behind leaders Manchester City) then it clear to see that he might feel starting the former Monaco and Sampdoria stopper is a bit risky opting to go with the tried and tested De Gea. At 29, time is surely running out for the former AZ-Alkmaar goalkeeper as he continues to play second fiddle to De Gea but judging from his statement below it appears it is the least thing on his mind.
“We also know that, for us, this is a period of development. I played my first game against Northampton and so I know I’m feeling good in myself that I can person in any match when the manager call on me, needs me or it’s my turn to play.”
“For me and similarly for my team-mates, we need to keep growing and developing in the right director so the group as a whole feels better and more solid.”
“All I would like to do for the moment is to be on the pitch and be able to help out my team-mates, then yes, I’d certainly welcome it, but if It doesn’t , like I say, just being a part of things and playing and doing my bit so that the lads can achieve the right result is the most important thing here.”
“Certainly it’s my turn to be on the sidelines and I’m helping all I can from there. But it’s natural that you’re keen to play and do more for the cause from within the side as it were, and then you can be doing something active and helping the group,” the 29-year-old was quoted as saying before the game against City on Wednesday evening.