Despite the fact that he has played in a World Cup final, the name Sergio Romero isn’t too familiar to a lot of Manchester United fans.
However, as doubt over David de Gea‘s future refuses to cease up, there’s every chance of Romero filling the Spaniard’s boots.
With that in mind, here is a list of ten things you need to know about United’s fifth signing of the summer.
1. Romero was born and raised in the depleted area of Bernardo de Irigoyen in northern Argentina, where he played for youth side Comisión de Actividades Infantiles before moving to Racing Club de Avellaneda at the age of 19.
2. On top of being a professional footballer, he is married to successful model Eliana Guercio.
3. Although the Argentina goalkeeper has suffered two final defeats in as many years (the World Cup final in 2014 and Copa America final in 2015), he is no stranger to silverware with his country. Romero was part of the side that won the U20 World Cup, where he conceded just twice, and won gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
4. In spite of that fact that Romero is a commanding 6’3, he is the smallest of his four brothers, with one being a professional basketball player, which has earned him the nickname ‘Chiquito’ (which translates to ‘small’).
5. Romero knows Van Gaal very well from his days at AZ Alkmaar. The Argentine reached the apogee of his career under the Dutchman in the 2007/08 season, where he recorded 18 clean sheets in 27 games, which included a 950 minute spell without conceding from November to February. AZ went on to comfortably win their first title in 28 years.
6. Romero was Argentina’s World Cup semi final hero in 2014. After a tedious 120 minutes with the Netherlands that produced no goals, the 28-year-†old proved to be the decisive factor in the penalty shootout, stopping shots from Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder, subsequently condemning van Gaal’s team to defeat and sending Argentina into their first World Cup final since the days of Diego Maradona.
7. United don’t often make free transfers. Romero is only the third player in ten years who has come to Old Trafford on a free after Michael Owen and Victor Valdes.
8. In light of struggling to hold down a regular place at Sampdoria, the Argentine was sent to Monaco on loan for the 2013/14 season. However, after only managing to make three appearances, his time in the French principality was pretty forgettable.
9. With 62 international appearances, Romero is Argentina’s highest capped goalkeeper.
10. Romero, who has spent eight in several top divisions across Europe, is a highly experienced, well-rounded keeper whose game revolves around being a supremely accomplished shot stopper and quick off his line.
While his distribution and kicking has come under scrutiny on occasions, the World Cup finalist is a reliable pair of hands.