Stats show Barcelona target would leave another huge gap for Southampton to fill

Despite the unfortunate 3-2 defeat in the EFL Cup Final against Manchester United, Southampton appear to be finding form in the Premier League having recorded successive away wins – scoring four goals in both matches.

However, as the season begins to enter into the final straight, Saints supporters will already be getting nervous about what the summer transfer window holds.

Over the course of the past few years, they have seen stars like Adam Lallana, Morgan Schneiderlin, Victor Wanyama and Sadio Mane leave for pastures new, and they will finally be hoping that it is a different story at the end of the current campaign.

However, one of their star men in the 2016/17 season – Oriol Romeu – is being linked with a move to Spanish giants Barcelona by The Sun, and it is a departure that would leave a huge gap in the Saints midfield.

When Morgan Schneiderlin left in the summer of 2015, Southampton still had Victor Wanyama in the middle of the park, and when the Kenyan left for Spurs last summer, Claude Puel could call upon Romeu to provide that barrier in front of his defence.

However, the Spaniard has largely been doing that on his own this term with no like-for-like option available, and has quickly become one of the Frenchman’s key men.

In 25 Premier League appearances this season, Romeu has made 66 tackles and 59 interceptions, while committing 46 fouls – not too bad considering his position and responsibilities on a weekly basis.

As well as his defensive abilities, one thing that will have attracted the interest of Barcelona is the 25-year-old’s skill on the ball.

Romeu’s technical ability has come on leaps and bounds this term and he has a 85% passing accuracy, while he has also shown that he can effectively bring the ball out of defence when needed by completing 21 take-ons.