Southampton reached the summit of the Premier League with their 2-0 win against Newcastle United on Friday night, and whilst Che Adams and Stuart Armstrong may be the ones to steal the headlines after their goals, Spanish midfielder Oriol Romeu certainly deserves a lot of credit for his imperious display.
The 29-year-old, who signed from Chelsea in 2015, produced a monster display in central-midfield, earning a 7.8 rating for his performance from SofaScore, which was the best of any Saints player on the night.
The defensive-minded middleman has been a mainstay in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side so far this season, having appeared in all eight of their top-flight fixtures thus far, and he produced another solid display in the win against Steve Bruce’s side.
Romeu enjoyed a pass success rate of 88% during the game against the Toon and also made three key passes, which perhaps emphasises that he can be a creative influence in the Southampton side and isn’t in there just to break up play as a defensive midfielder.
As per SofaScore, the Spaniard also won eight out of 12 of his ground duels, lost possession on just nine occasions and made an impressive six tackles, which once again demonstrates his reliability in that Saints midfield.
Considering these impressive stats, and his solid start to the Premier League season, which has seen him average a strong 7.15 rating for his performances in the top-flight (per Whoscored), it is perhaps a surprise that he has only ever been capped at U23 level for Spain, so perhaps if he continues these excellent performances, a call-up to Luis Enrique’s national side may not be too far away?
Hasenhuttl has already praised his midfielder highly at times this season, suggesting that “he’s one of the most professional guys I’ve ever seen”, and adding that whilst he is “sometimes under the radar”, his attitude, in general, is “unbelievable.” (per Daily Echo).
The Austrian manager will no doubt be delighted with Romeu’s performance against Newcastle on Friday night and will be hoping that the £7.2 million-rated midfielder can continue his fine form and produce another strong display in their next fixture against Wolves following the upcoming international break.