Aston Villa could sign a massive upgrade on Marvelous Nakamba in the form of Southampton midfielder Oriol Romeu.
Reports in recent weeks have suggested that the Dean Smith’s side are keen on the Spaniard’s teammate at St Mary’s, James Ward-Prowse, but it appears Smith is also keen on signing Romeu too.
According to The Telegraph, Villa have identified the holding midfield position as something that needs reinforcing over the summer, with Romeu now featuring on the shortlist.
The 6 foot ace would represent a major upgrade on Nakamba in that anchorman role – in fact, as per Whoscored, the Saint’s man impressive average of 3.3 tackles per game in the Premier League last season ranked him joint-third in the entire division.
Romeu also averaged 1.4 interceptions per game, numbers which are far better than any of Smith’s current options at Villa Park – Nakamba being the closest Villa player to the Spaniard, managing just 1.7 tackles and 1.3 interceptions per match.
And, when asked about Romeu’s performance against West Brom in a 2-0 victory last season, Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl said: “When you see him as a professional, how he reacts when he is not first-choice, he’s one of the most professional guys I’ve ever seen.
“Sometimes he is under the radar because he makes the work nobody wants to do – closing the gaps, closing the space, winning duels, being everywhere and when he is in the moment when he can score, it is unbelievable for him.”
Given his ability to cover the ground and break up opposition attacks, and the fact that he’s Premier League proven, the £65k-a-week earning Romeu is someone who would be a massive improvement on Nakamba in the middle of the park.
Villa should push to complete a move for the Spaniard.