Oriol Romeu has claimed he would not prefer a return to Barcelona and instead wants to focus on Southampton instead. It was rumoured during the transfer window that the Catalan giants could be interested in signing the former Chelsea midfielder. However, according to the player himself, no contact was made.
“Nothing reached me. Yes, I heard some comment that they needed players there and various names were considered, but they never contacted me or my agent. They probably didn’t see me as an option.”
Romeu seems to know his limitations and preferences very clearly and has focused on opting to play regularly for a smaller club rather than warm the benches at a bigger one. The Spaniard added on why he would snub Barcelona for the Saints: “To go to a big club to be in the second tier [of players], I don’t know if I would accept it. I don’t enjoy [it], what I want is to play. I don’t think that at Barca I could have been a starting player, it’s like that and you have to be aware of the options that one has.”
The decision probably comes from his bitter prior experience at big clubs. He developed in his young years at Chelsea after the Blues snapped him away from the La Masia academy. The defensive midfielder showed great promise in his early years but failed to prove his mettle.
Chelsea were also to blame for the player’s poor end-product at the club as he was given very little chances to develop his game. He was played only in inconsequential cup matches and a few low-key league matches here and there.
A lack of regular match practice affected his form and he failed to develop at Chelsea. At Southampton, he has become an efficient first team player and has played a key part in their team ever since joining them.
He has the game to sit behind in midfield and shield his defence thereby allowing his partner Mario Lemina to bomb forward. He also has a calm head on him to casually rotate the ball and filter possession against high-pressing sides. The player is good with his positioning and can also play as a centre back if his team needs him to, owing to his excellent tackling and marking skills.
It is good news for Southampton that a player like Romeu has cleared his stance and it is now up to the team to stay in the Premier League to ensure they do not lose talents like Romeu.
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