STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sergio Romero has spent large parts of his club career sitting on the bench but after helping Manchester United win the Europa League, he believes he has shown he is good enough to be the club’s number one goalkeeper.
The Argentina No. 1 has had to make do with only six Premier League starts in his two seasons with United since signing from Sampdoria, where he also had a limited role. But he spoke of his gratitude to Jose Mourinho for making him first choice in the victorious Europa League campaign.
“I chose to come here because of the type of club this is, one of the biggest in the world and an opportunity I couldn’t turn down even though I knew it might be a little harder here to play a lot,” Romero told reporters after United’s 2-0 win over Ajax in the final on Wednesday.
“With Louis (van Gaal) I played 12 games and I felt good and so I thought I had played an important role for the team despite not playing a lot. Then with Jose I’ve had a bigger role, I’ve been able to play a little more and I’ve been able to show I‘m a goalkeeper that can play for this club.”
Romero played the first four games of his first season at United as David de Gea was expected to move to Real Madrid, a transfer that was derailed on the final day of the transfer window due to administrative reasons.
The Argentine did not feature again in the league in the 2014/15 season but with Real expected to move for the Spain No. 1 again this summer he could be in line to be United’s first choice keeper next campaign and committed to stay at the club.
“My intention is to stay. I could be the number one or number two again, it all depends on hard work, but hard work is something I have plenty of,” added Romero, who began his career with Argentine club Racing Club de Avellaneda.
“But you never know what’s going to happen in the future so you have to keep working hard for what comes next.”
His consistency in the Europa League, where he kept eight clean sheets in 12 games, was a rare instance in which he replicated his prominent role for Argentina, where he is the most capped goalkeeper in the team’s history, at club level.
“There were many moments when I returned home very happy, I’ve kept a lot of clean sheets and helped my team mates on a lot of occasions that’s given me enormous satisfaction,” Romero added.
“I have to thank the coaching staff for showing faith in me and my teammates who made a lot of effort to make me feel tranquil and ending with this trophy in our hands makes us doubly happy.”
Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Tom Heneghan