Sergio Romero – Loyalty Unrewarded

Sergio Romero poses with the Europa League Trophy

Sergio Romero has been one of the most loyal servants of the club in the post-Fergie era. A reliable backup, Romero is still considered as one of the best second-choice keepers in the world. In fact, the Argentine is nothing short of a first-choice Premier League quality GK. But he always stuck to Manchester United and has performed whenever called upon. Romero has an impressive record of 39 clean sheets in 61 appearances for The Red Devils. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been repaid for all his sincerity and loyalty. Let’s have a look at how Romero’s career has panned out at Manchester United…

The Arrival of The Argentine Shotstopper

Sergio Romero joins Manchester United from Sampdoria on a free transfer
Sergio Romero joins Manchester United from Sampdoria on a free transfer
[Image Courtesy of The Guardian]

Romero landed in Old Trafford on a free transfer from Sampdoria in the summer transfer window of 2015. He penned a 3-year contract, till 2018 with an option to extend by a year. It was a reunion for him with former AZ manager, Louis van Gaal.

With De Gea withdrawn from the squad amidst speculation of a switch to Santiago Bernabeu and Victor Valdes out of favor, Romero made his PL debut in the season opener against Spurs. The Argentine kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 victory and made 2 crucial saves, although his distribution could be described a bit “nervy”. He kept a clean sheet in his first 3 appearances.

Meanwhile, De Gea’s move to Real Madrid failed to materialize, credit to the infamous Fax Machine incident. The Spaniard resumed his duties as the first-choice keeper, while Romero took up the backup GK spot. Despite this, the Argentine was the first choice in cup competitions.

“Romero deserves to start in Europa League”

Sergio Romero celebrates winning the 2017 Europa League with Manchester United
Sergio Romero celebrates winning the 2017 Europa League with Manchester United
[Image Courtesy of Let’s Talk Football]

Every few years there’s a customary managerial switch at Manchester United, and it was that time in the cycle again. Jose Mourinho replaced Van Gaal as our manager in 2016, days after the Dutchman won the FA Cup, credit to a magical moment from Jesse Lingard in extra time.

Mourinho came in as a proven winner and even he believed that Romero has a very important role at Manchester United. The Portuguese manager announced Sergio Romero as the GK for cup competitions and Europa League matches and stuck to him.

The Argentine had an impressive Europa League campaign and even rejected a move back home to Boca Juniors in the January transfer window. Romero won the Europa League with us in 2017, our first European trophy in almost 10 years. The Argentine conceded just 4 goals while keeping 8 clean sheets in 12 appearances during his Europa League campaign. His performances earned him a 4-year contract extension at Manchester United, till 2021.

Sergio Romero Out Of Favour?

David de Gea has been often favored above Sergio Romero in important Cup matches and Europa League fixtures by Solskjaer
David de Gea has been often favored above Sergio Romero in important Cup matches and Europa League fixtures by Solskjaer
[Image Courtesy of talkSPORT]

By the time Solskjaer was hired as our manager, Romero had already established himself as the most reliable backup keeper in the world. The Norwegian did play him in the League Cup matches and FA Cup ties. But he had a pragmatic approach to playing Romero in UCL, which is quite understandable. This resulted in a solitary appearance in Europe for him, a 2-1 loss against Valencia.

By the end of the 18/19 season, Manchester United yet again failed to secure Champions League football. David de Gea had been a shadow of his former self after a horrid 2018 World Cup. Once the talisman of the team, the Spaniard looked shaky between the sticks. In fact, he made the most number of errors leading to goals in the 19/20 season. Everything pointed towards Romero deserving more game time and even led to talks of resting De Gea for the Argentine.

Contrary to popular opinion, Solskjaer dropped Romero for De Gea for important matches in Cup ties. One such match turned out to be a catastrophic decision from Solskjaer. De Gea had a game to forget in the FA Cup Semi-Final against Chelsea.

What Lies Ahead?

Sergio Romero is ready for the MLS
Sergio Romero is ready for the MLS
[Image Courtesy of El Futbolero US]

Come next season, Dean Henderson returned from an impressive 2-year loan spell at Wolves and Romero further fell down the pecking order. The Argentine just isn’t supposed to be a third-choice GK at any club. In fact, even at 33, he can be the first-choice keeper at a good club.

Sergio Romero did actually have a chance to do the same as Everton were interested in signing the shot-stopper to compete for the #1 spot with Pickford. The Merseyside club was willing to cover his entire salary as well as pay £2m as part of the 1-year loan deal, but the Greater Manchester outfit was holding out for a permanent transfer worth £8m. As a result, Everton decided against pursuing the player and the window slammed shut.

Romero’s wife criticises the treatment her husband has received even after being such a loyal servant to the club

Romero’s wife publicly announced her disappointment in the club’s administration, leaving the Argentine strangled in such a situation. He even reportedly “begged” Manchester United to terminate his contract – which expires next year – and let him leave for free. The Argentine is even ready to relinquish the £1.5m United would have to pay in case of contract termination.

Sergio Romero is entering his twilight years and hence, wants to play as much football as he can. He wants to get back in the national team fold and to do that he needs minutes under his belt. MLS seemed like the perfect opportunity for him but even a move to America failed to materialize. Unfortunately, he’ll probably have to wait until his contract expires next summer or hope that United let him leave for free in January.


"We Miss You, And We Know You Deserved Better" Ander Herrera and Sergio Romero
“We Miss You, And We Know You Deserved Better”
[Image Courtesy of Getty Images]

To be honest, it’s really painful to see such a loyal servant of the club being treated so harshly. It has been the case lately with a few other players as well. A prime example would be Ander Herrera. I hope Romero gets his move soon, maybe in the January window. Always hoping for the best for Manchester United players.

What are your thoughts on Sergio Romero and what could be his potential destinations in January? Leave your thoughts in the comments…

Author: Hitanshu Samantaray

Editor at The Devil's Den | Author at The United Devils | Author at The Daily Manc | #MUFC | #GGMU |

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