Could Argentinian wonderkid Maximiliano Romero still make the big time?
Argentinian wonderkid Maximiliano Romero, at the time, yet to make his senior league debut for Velez, was rumoured to be joining Arsenal two years ago for a reported €6million fee. The player himself, his agent and coach all suggested to the media that a deal was done. Romero was headhunted by Arsenal’s scouts during a pre-season tour of America, and praise for his talent was widespread across many of the most successful teams in Europe.
However, after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament badly in 2015, Romero was out of action for a year and his dreams of playing in the top flight of English football were seemingly over. It was heavily reported again last summer that Arsenal were renewing their interest in the then 17-year-old Velez striker Romero, although once again negotiations fell flat.
Born in 1999, the centre-forward remains only 18 years old. Romero continues to play for Argentinian Primeria Division team Velez Sarsfield, one of the most successful clubs in Argentinian football, having joined their academy in 2005 when he was only six years old.
Romero began his senior career in 2015 aged seventeen, and went on to make eleven appearances that season which included him starting five times and scoring three goals. In only his second professional fixture against Olimpo, he scored his first goal resulting in Velez’s late 2-1 victory.
Romero is a player plagued with injury, and since returning from yet more cruciate ligament problems last summer, he has played just nine games for the club and continues to fight to force his way back into first team selection.
There is no doubt that Romero is a talented striker with a natural eye for a goal and the ability to adapt to the needs of a team by playing a wider role if required. Romero is particularly good in the air, with most of his goals and assists involving set pieces, and is strong on both his right and left feet. However, understandably, few successful teams are willing to gamble on a player who, whilst still young and capable of playing at the top flight when fit, has proven himself to be injury prone.
Earlier this year, Maximiliano Romero signed a contract extension with Velez Sarsfield, keeping him as a player there until June 2019 when he will be twenty years of age. There therefore remains hope that it is not too late for such a talented, young player to one day grace the Premier League.