AVTV Player Report: John Romero
Meet the youngest player who is undisputed first-choice at his position in the Premier League. John Romero
has been a sensation since joining Aston Villa from Tolima in his hometown back in Colombia. But how exactly did this 20-year-old move up the ranks of the Villans?
Romero has played football for a long time, and started his career in the academy at Tolima, eventually being promoted to the first team in 2013 and breaking into the first team by 2014, making 17 appearances in the Colombian First Division and silencing opposing wingers. His impressive performances even led to him being awarded his first international cap for the Colombia senior team in March 2014.
Not many Premier League scouts look in the South American country of Colombia, but Aston Villa chief scout Renatinho
just happened to be at the right place at the right time.
Informed of this young lad from Colombia's prowess at left-back, as well as his first-team experience of battling the opposition wingers with Tolima, David Beckham
moved in and Romero was eventually a Villa player for 975k.
Arriving in the summer of 2014 at the tender age of 18, Romero did not expect to make much of an impact on the upcoming Premier League season. However, he was quickly thrown into the first team by Beckham, as backup to Aaron Cresswell at left-back. To everyone's surprise, Cresswell was quickly being overthrown as Romero marked his spot in the first-team, making 23 league appearances in his debut Villa season and helping the team to the FA Cup as well as the Capital One Cup Final.
Cresswell was sent packing to West Ham the season after, signaling the promotion of Romero to first-choice. Unfortunately, his season was ravaged by injury, although he still managed to make a total of 22 appearances in the Premier League. The Colombian teenager was also entrusted with a spot in the starting eleven in both the Capital One Cup Final and the Europa League Final. Romero soon celebrated his first double with Aston Villa.
On to the new season, Romero will be hoping this year stays injury-free for him as he looks to continue building on his already successful Villa career.
At the age of 20, Romero has won the Capital One Cup, the FA Cup, and the Europa League with Aston Villa - a remarkable achievement.
Outside of Villa and English football, Romero is highly favored by Colombia boss Eduardo Lara
. Despite his tender age, Romero already has 23 caps for Colombia, as well as one international goal, a flyer from a distance against Qatar in the summer of 2016, two years after his international debut.