Towards the end of Mark Hughes’ reign at Southampton, Oriol Romeu found himself ostracised from the first-team and playing Under 23 action in a non-league stadium.
Ralph Hasenhuttl cannot allow the Spaniard to suffer any longer, and one of his first orders of business must be recalling Romeu.
A product of Barcelona, rejected by Chelsea, but a former star on the English south coast, Romeu deserves another chance to lace up his boots in the Premier League.
The 27-year-old has 105 league appearances to his name with the Saints, and had been a regular inclusion until this season, slipping behind Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Mario Lemina in Hughes’ pecking order.
That does not mean his time in red and white should be over though, as he can form the base to his new boss’ side, as the Austrian looks to implement his ideal style of play.
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When in Germany, Hasenhuttl favoured a 4-2-2-2 formation with defensively-minded midfielders forming the base of a high pressing attack.
While Lemina would represent a more attacking option, capable of driving through the centre of the side, he lacks the defensive awareness needed when compared to Romeu.
The Spaniard has a more rounded approach to his game and has shown throughout his time at St Mary’s that he can sit back, win the ball and get the attack started from deep – he is arguably the side’s only out-and-out defensive midfielder, too.
Having someone of Romeu’s calibre in the base of the staggered formation will also relieve those further up the field of some of their defensive tracking, allowing them to hound the opposition’s backline instead of fielding set positions.