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La Liga side offers former Man United goalkeeper a fresh new start

Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero joined Venezia.
Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero joined Venezia.

Following months of uncertainty about his future and the expiry of his Manchester United contract in June, goalkeeper Sergio Romero will begin a new adventure with Granada in Spain. Eager to reclaim his place in the Argentina national team, the 34-year-old has jumped at the chance of moving to La Liga, even reducing his wage demands to seal the deal.

Romero departs United with his head held high

Manchester United announced the departure of eight players back in June. Six were academy players, along with first-team goalkeepers Joel Pereira and Sergio Romero. Since joining the Red Devils on a free transfer from Sampdoria in July 2015, Romero went on to make 61 appearances for the club.

Romero was originally brought in as backup for David de Gea, although he did feature regularly and often replaced the Spaniard in cup competitions. During those 61 appearances, Romero also boasted an exemplary record, conceding just 27 goals and registering an impressive statistic of 39 clean sheets.

Nevertheless, while De Gea remained the number one choice at Old Trafford, it was always inevitable that Romero would eventually grow frustrated by playing second fiddle to his teammate. Likewise, the lack of regular games also led to Romero losing his place in the Argentine national team, having made 96 appearances for La Albiceleste until 2018.

Now the 34-year-old is looking to reboot his career. There was interest from several MLS clubs, along with approaches from Racing and Boca Juniors back in his native Argentina. However, when he expressed a preference to stay in Europe, after initial talks with Valencia went unresolved in April, Romero accepted a firm offer from Granada with better guarantees.

Making the switch from England to Spain

Considering the options that were open to Romero, his choice of Granada will have inevitably raised many eyebrows. The modest club from Andalusia won’t be competing in Europe this season, having finished 10th in La Liga at the end of the 2020-21 campaign. They were one of the surprise packages in the Europa League last season, before eventually being eliminated by Manchester United in the quarter-finals.

Interestingly, the Argentine shot-stopper didn’t make a single appearance for the Red Devils last season, given that David de Gea remained the untouchable number one, while Dean Henderson took over the backup role. Undoubtedly, the growing discontent felt by Romero didn’t help matters, although he now looks forward to a starring role at Granada.

Since crossing paths with Manchester United in the Europa League, there have been various changes at Granada, throughout the club. Diego Martinez opted against renewing his contract as manager, following three spectacular seasons. After winning promotion, Martinez then led Granada to a club record for points in La Liga, plus their first ever appearance in Europe.

Former Spain boss Robert Martinez has now taken the helm at Granada, full of ambition to continue the excellent progress made by the club in recent years. Romero is one of several exciting new additions to the squad, as the new manager seeks to forge a team suited to his own tactical preferences and ideas.

What bookies expect from Granada and United

Although the two teams are quite literally worlds apart, both in terms of budgets and expectations, both Granada and Manchester United will head into their respective 2021-22 campaigns full of ambition and optimism. While the Red Devils are tipped to challenge for the Premier League title, some bookies are expecting a difficult season ahead for the Nazaries.

This means that ahead of backing either team, it’s well worth researching the Trust and reputation is everything, so look for online bookies with good reviews, make sure they cover the leagues you follow, then seek out the most competitive odds and welcome bonuses.

Irrespective of having signed Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane recently, some bookies are undecided about whether Manchester United can launch an effective title bid. The same applies to Granada with their own objectives, with several online betting sites predicting they will struggle to compete in the top half of La Liga.

Needless to say, both sides will be aiming to defy the cautious early expectations from bookmakers. It also gives punters a nice early chance to get some good value outright odds, before the competitive action begins. Who knows, maybe if the two sides meet or surpass their expectations, they may even cross European paths again in the future.

Written by Saiyed Karim

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