Southampton need to keep hold of Romeu amid Barcelona links

Southampton midfielder Oriol Romeu has insisted that he has no intention of abandoning St Mary’s for Barcelona, reports the Daily Echo.

What’s the word?

Earlier this month, The Sun claimed that the Catalan giants were eyeing their former player ahead of a potential move in the summer.

Romeu came through the academy at Barcelona and spent a year in the first team before leaving to join Chelsea in 2011.

In both Spain and at Stamford Bridge, the midfielder struggled to cement a regular spot in the team, but at Southampton he is a valued member.

Romeu has claimed that while he is flattered by the rumours, he wants to pay back the Saints for the faith they have shown in him.

The Daily Echo quotes the 25-year-old as saying:

“Being linked with the club is always something nice but, luckily, I’ve been at Chelsea and Barcelona and haven’t played and I don’t want to be there again and I don’t want to have this feeling [of not playing].

“I’m feeling very happy here [at Saints] and I won’t give this away. The club has given me a massive welcome since the beginning, signing a new contract in January, and this support and confidence they have given me is something that no one has done before.”

How important is he to Southampton?

Well, this season in particular, Romeu has impressed in the middle of the park.

He has played in all but one of the club’s 27 Premier League games this season and he has had a consistently strong defensive presence.

Romeu is a reliable figure in midfield as he can read the game well, which allows him to intercept passes, and he is also not afraid of a tackle.

Since Victor Wanyama left, the Spaniard has stepped up in that role, of which he has made his own.

Keeping Romeu would not only be good for matters on the pitch, it would also send out a message that Southampton are not a selling club.

The coastal outfit have parted with numerous first-team players, including Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Nathaniel Clyne, over the years.