It may be unfortunate but it’s unquestionably true, Southampton have a reputation for surrendering their stars to the Premier League’s top clubs – albeit, picking up some pretty handsome profits in the process.
Ahead of the coming transfer window, Virgil van Dijk appears the likeliest to be whisked away. The Dutchman was nothing short of phenomenal during the first half of the season, arguably the best centre-back in the Premier League, before succumbing to a campaign-ending injury in January.
But looking throughout Southampton’s squad, the division’s big boys should be closely monitoring Oriol Romeu’s situation too – although a new St. Mary’s contract in January could make it difficult to strike a deal this summer.
The Spaniard has been fantastic all season at the base of Claude Puel’s midfield and he produced yet another impressive performance last night, playing a key role in Southampton claiming a clean sheet in a scoreless draw with Manchester United.
Indeed, as our infographic shows, Romeu weighed in with seven tackles and three clearances, but also contributed to Southampton’s attacking play, having two efforts at goal and laying on a chance for one of his team-mates.
Perhaps most impressive, however, was the 25-year-old’s metronomic influence on possession. He finished up with the most touches of the ball and the most passes of any Southampton player, not to mention a passing accuracy of a whopping 95%.
Romeu’s spent time at big clubs before, namely Barcelona and Chelsea, but couldn’t quite break into their first teams. After a few years at Southampton, however, and particularly a string of strong performance against high-quality opposition this term, the former Spain U21 looks ready to take on the challenge once again.
Regardless of his contract situation, top clubs should be snooping for his services this summer.