United have announced that they have signed 28-year-old Sergio Romero the current Argentina international goalkeeper. The player was a free agent having spent last season at Sampdoria in Italy.
The jury is out on whether the player has been signed as a potential replacement for “want away” David de Gea or for out of favour Victor Valdes who Van Gaal has confirmed will leave the club having refused to play in a reserve game last season.
Romero started his career at Racing Club in his home land before being signed by Van Gaal during his time at AZ 67 Alkmaar. He prospered under Van Gaal as a 22 year old at AZ 67 as the side won the Eredivisie in 2009. After Van Gaal moved on to Bayern Munich Romero left AZ for then Serie B side Sampdoria in 2011. In Italy he helped the Genoese side to regain Serie A status but then moved on a season long loan to Monaco for the 2013-14 season. He failed to secure first choice billing in France and returned to Sampdoria last year but failed to re-establish himself as the first choice keeper and became a free agent at the end of the season.
In contrast to his fortunes at club level at international level he has established himself as Argentina’s first choice and now has 62 caps since making his debut back in 2009. He has represented Argentina at the last two World Cup Final tournaments and the last two Copa America tournaments. He excelled himself in the World Cup semi-final penalty shoot-out last year against Van Gaal’s Holland saving two penalties as Argentina won the shoot-out 4-2.
Romero is 6ft 3½in and in Holland had a reputation for dominating his area. It remains to be seen whether he can do this in the at times overly physical Premier League. The player will be looking for a return to his earlier club successes as he is re-united with his old manager. No doubt Van Gaal will be hoping that his latest re-union with a former keeper secured without a fee will prove happier than the last such reunion.
Sergio Romero, welcome to Old Trafford.