Southampton midfielder Oriol Romeu is being linked with a move away from St Mary’s and it could prove to be a mistake by Ralph Hasenhuttl if he is allowed to leave.
According to reports from Spain, via Sport Witness, Girona are currently in negotiations with Southampton over a move for the former Chelsea man.
He suggests that Michel, the Girona manager, is very keen to add Romeu to his squad before the transfer window shuts and considering his contract at St Mary’s is set to expire at the end of this season, a deal could well be on the cards.
While Southampton have recruited Romeo Lavia as a new defensive-midfielder this summer, the former Manchester City man is just 18 and it feels like a big risk for Hasenhuttl to put his faith in so many youngsters.
At 30, Romeu is one of the few experienced heads in Southampton’s dressing room right now and has shown in recent seasons how important he can be to the Saints.
Last season saw the midfielder make 36 appearances in the Premier League, averaging a solid 6.87 rating from WhoScored for his performances, which was only bettered by James Ward-Prowse in Southampton’s squad.
This emphasises how important he can be to Hasenhuttl, and yet the Austrian manager favoured Lavia in midfield in last weekend’s draw against Leeds United, which suggests that he feels Romeu doesn’t have a long-term future in his side.
The average age of Southampton’s lineup in both Premier League games thus far has been 24.7 and if Alan Hansen’s famous remark that ‘you can’t win anything with kids’ is true, then Hasenhuttl’s side could be in real trouble this season.
Romeu has been a key player at Southampton in recent seasons and has consistently impressed, with Pep Guardiola dubbing him “one of the best” defensive midfielders in the league, while Hasenhuttl also sang his praises in 2020, saying:
“I have never seen a professional like him before in my entire managing career.
“He’s one of the most professional guys I’ve ever seen.
“When you see him as a professional, how he reacts when he’s not first choice, it’s unbelievable.”
Romeu is exactly the sort of character you would want to have in the squad when things aren’t going your way and letting him leave could be a big mistake by Southampton if they continue to struggle this season.