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Is Sergio Romero the best number two goalkeeper in world football?

Man United's second-choice shot stopper was in fine form once again in their FA Cup win over Chelsea

Is Sergio Romero the best back-up goalkeeper in world football?

Man United fans certainly think so.

On Monday night, the Argentinian was thrust into action by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as United took on Chelsea in their FA Cup fifth round clash.

And as usual, he put in an assured and confident performance to keep a clean sheet and help his side to a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge, which included an excellent double-save to deny both David Luiz and then Pedro at a crucial stage of the match.


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He’s now kept 27 clean sheets at United in 42 matches, which gives him the best clean sheet percentage (64.2%) of ANY goalie who’s played in more than three matches for the club.

Sure, many of his performances have been up against so-called inferior opposition, such as Yeovil in the FA Cup last season.

Easy to keep a clean sheet in games like that, right?

But actually, Romero has been just as good in ‘big’ matches, such as the one we witnessed yesterday, or against Arsenal in the fourth round, or away to Valencia in the Champions League earlier in the season.

And let us remind you, Romero started in all 12 of United’s games in their successful Europa League campaign in 2016–17, facing the likes of Ajax, Celta Vigo, Fenerbache, Feyenoord, Saint-Etienne and Anderlecht.

Feeling mean in green

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Feeling mean in green

Appreciation for United’s unsung hero should go further than just turning up for the odd cup match.

After all, it must be pretty tough to be the understudy to David De Gea, who’s quite possibly the best goalkeeper in the world right now.

But for weeks and months on end, the 31-year-old quite happily sits on the bench as back-up to De Gea, and you rarely hear of him complaining to the press about his lack of game-time, or giving his manager a hard time about wanting to move.

Best buds

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Best buds

What makes things even trickier for Romero is that he’s still very-much Argentina’s No.1.

In fact, he’s considered an important and experienced member of the national team and often takes up the captain’s armband when Lionel Messi doesn’t play.

He was unfortunate to miss out on the World Cup over the summer with an injury, and could do nothing but watch from the sidelines as Willy Caballero pulled off the gaffe of the tournament against Croatia.

There’s every chance he could remain the national team’s first-choice keeper for a good few years yet.

Argentina’s quality between the sticks is in short supply

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Argentina’s quality between the sticks is in short supply

But there’s little chance of the same thing happening at United.

Signed on a free transfer by Louis van Gaal in the summer of 2015, Romero saw plenty of action early on, starting in their season-opening win over Spurs amidst transfer speculation surrounding De Gea’s move to Real Madrid (fax machine, anyone?).

With all of that going on, Romero played in United’s next three league matches and kept a clean sheet in each, only to be unceremoniously dropped when De Gea’s move fell through.

Romero has been the club’s second choice ever-since.

Seeking out another clean sheet

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Seeking out another clean sheet

Many would consider De Gea to be perhaps the Red Devils’ best ever goalkeeper.

But the Old Trafford history books will certainly be kind to Romero, who’s proven to be the best back-up keeper the club could ask for.


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