Arsenal are reportedly close to agreeing a deal to sign youngster Maximiliano Romero – who is the bright young talent of Argentine outfit Velez Sarsfield.
The Daily Mirror, who hail the forward as the ‘new Lionel Messi’, state that the Gunners have offered a fee of around £4.5m. That’s a quite incredible sum for a 16-year-old that few fans in Europe will have heard of – but Arsene Wenger is convinced that the youngster could be a future star at the Emirates Stadium.
“I met with Arsene Wenger twice in London,” Romero’s representative Rolando Zarate told the Mirror.
“They heard about Maxi through their scouts in South America. He is the player who has most impressed him.”
Romero scored 33 goals for the Velez youth side last season, according to Argentine newspaper Clarin – the most throughout the country’s amateur leagues.
He soon started to impress for the reserves, and in January, Romero was given a chance with the first team in a pre-season friendly against All Boys, and excelled – scoring twice and assisting another goal in the 4-1 win. That prompted Clarin to speculate if he would be granted a chance in the first team sooner rather than later.
That hasn’t yet come to pass – Romero’s yet to make a senior professional appearance – but we’ve dug up the best videos from his career at youth level to show what he has to offer.
Judging by the clips below, it’s clear to see why the young striker is rated so highly – Romero is still just 16 years of age but has already been selected on the bench twice in Primera Division matches this season.
While drawing similarities to Barcelona legend Messi, Romero possesses more of a physical presence – he’s just under 5’11” and at this young age, likely still growing. He therefore appears to be more of a conventional forward than his compatriot.
The first two clips below show just how good the teen already is in the air. The first shows an athletic leap and accurate header, but the second illustrates great ‘hang time’ – Romero jumps early and maintains his height for a long period of time.
Regardless of this aerial strength, Romero is certainly talented with the ball at his feet, and seems to possess that unique quality of composure in front of goal.
These two finishes show his cool head. The teenager takes his time on each occasion, committing the goalkeeper, and fires the ball powerfully and accurately into the bottom corner.
Finally, Romero’s dribbling skills are fantastic – and the reason he’s earned the comparisons with Lionel Messi.
Able to turn on a sixpence and run at opponents, Romero has the close control to touch the ball away just before his opponents swing for it. That speed of thought, agility and ice-cold mentality in front of goal could see him reach the top.