Cristian Romero insists Tottenham can challenge Arsenal for Premier League title

Tottenham centre-back Cristian Romero has insisted that the club can still catch up with Premier League leaders Arsenal, starting with a victory in Sunday’s north London derby.

Arsenal are sitting pretty atop the standings with 44 points after 17 games – five clear of closest rivals Manchester City having played one game fewer – with Spurs’ immediate focus being on returning to the top four.

Antonio Conte’s side have 33 points after 18 matches and currently find themselves in fifth, but despite the numerical distance between the two teams, Romero argued that Spurs’ title hopes are not yet over.

“I think we can come back from this far back,” he told Sky Sports. “But there’s a lot of work we need to do, using everything we’ve got.

“If you’re top of the league, you deserve to be there and that’s where they are. But we want to be there ourselves. We know we need to improve a lot of things, but we are working hard thinking about us, not them.”

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The two teams are set to butt heads on Sunday in the derby and Romero challenged his team-mates to use this game as the first step on their quest to climb back up towards the top of the Premier League.

“If I have to say something about [Arsenal], they’ve got a strong squad,” Romero conceded. “The players and the manager have been together for a long time.

“They are in an important moment in what they’ve been building for years and we can see that, at the moment, they’re doing well. For us, we’re in a position where we still need to grow.

“This game is important. We need to win it. We need the result. It will be hard, but I believe in our team. Between us, we’re always motivated. It’s not only just with the derby, even though it’s a very important game.

“The Premier League is difficult, there are many strong squads you play where you have to be 100 per cent for. If not, you can’t play in this climate.

“We know this season has been a bit up and down, we have to say it, but we hope to win. We will do everything to win this game at home.”