Chelsea have completed the £4.35million signing of Oriol Romeu from Barcelona, who becomes only their second new face thus far this summer under new manager Andre Villas-Boas’ reign. The young Spaniard, who is a defensive midfielder by trade, will link up with his new side, once his country’s Under-20 World Cup campaign comes to a finish, which may not be until after August 20th.
19-year old Romeu only made his first-team league debut for Barcelona at the very end of last season. Once Chelsea presented the opportunity of first team football, he hardly had to think twice, stating: ‘Chelsea is a great option for me. Leaving Barca hurts, but you have to take your chances.’
Noted more for his tactical awareness and physical athleticism, than many of his former midfield compatriots, Barcelona must feel he has sufficient potential, selling him on condition of a buy-back clause of 10million euros after one year and 15million euros after two.
Upon agreeing terms a delighted Villa-Boas said: ‘It is a part of the squad in which we are struggling with numbers because of Michael Essien’s injury and Oriol is a player with a bright future. He still has to evolve as a player. The Barcelona B team had a magnificent year in the Spanish second division, they finished third. Oriol had an injury during the season but he came back late on and was in time to play for the first team. So he is one of the most promising young players in that position.’