Hasenhuttl Praises Oriol Romeu But No News Of A New Contract !
Tuesday, 13th Oct 2020 08:49
Ralph Hasenhuttl has described Oriol Romeu as "one of the most professional guys I’ve ever seen". But with less than a year left of his contract Romeu could be leaving St Mary's next year, surely he deserves a new one.
Oriol Romeu has been one of the success of this new season and indeed the restart in the summer, but in the past couple of years had been overshadowed by Pierre Emile Hojbjerg and now faces a new challenge from Ibrahima Diallo but surely he deserves a new contract for his service to Saints and more importantly what he brings to the squad now.
Romeu had started to become the forgotten player at St Mary's last season, all the plaudits were for Hojbjerg or James Ward Prowse and the Spaniard just got on with the job when picked quietly.
But he still started 20 Premier League games with another 10 from the bench and he was an unused sub for the remainder of the matches, many will be surprised to learn that he was not suspended once.
But most of his starts came either at the start of the season or after the break at the end, indeed after the Everton game at the start of November he would play only one other 90 minutes until restored to the team in the 2nd game of the restart in June against Arsenal, but since then he has been ever present.
His application and attitude has been superb and Ralph Hasenhuttl has confirmed that 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.
“He’s always the first on the pitch, always hard working. I think for this, they love him here.”
“He’s sometimes under the radar because he makes the work nobody wants to do - closing the gaps, closing the space, running behind the ball, winning duels, being everywhere.
“When he is in the moment when he can score, it is unbelievable for him.
“Since lockdown, he has played some fantastic games since then.
“We need more than two sixes, that is for sure.”
The last comment suggests that Ralph sees Romeu as part of his plans, but the question is, is that long term or merely for the rest of the season in the hope that Will Smallbone or another youngster makes a breakthrough.
Indeed Romeu is under the radar for many Saints supporters, he arrived in the summer of 2015 for a mere £5 million and now as he enters his 6th season at the club and the win over West Brom being his 163rd League game out of a grand total of 194 in all competitions, of all the players that we have signed since our return to the Premier League surely only Steven Davis can match him in the value for money stakes.
Indeed like Davis, Romeu is a player that will not be recognised by some until he is gone.
But the reality is that he will be gone next summer unless we offer him a new deal and so far this has not happened.
Having just turned 29, Romeu is at the peak of his game and if we were to let him go for free then we would not get a replacement of that quality for less than £15 million.
Ralph has indicated that there is room in the squad for two defensive midfielders with the arrival of Diallo and the competition can only be good for both of them.
It would be great to see the club offer him a new deal and the strength of the squad maintained, I think for much of Ralph Hasenhuttl's time at the club Romeu has been overshadowed by the form of Hojbjerg and the Austrian has preferred the Dane to the man from Spain, certainly in the middle part of last season, but Romeu showed his mettle in forcing his way back into the team and this season has arguably been our best player so far, many forget that he was player of the season in 2016/17 a time when Saints battled to 9th place as well as the League Cup Final and Romeu played a full part.
So it would be great news for the squad to see Romeu sign a new contract and see his playing days out at St Mary's, he was here at a time when many went off to pastures anew at the first opportunity, yet he has remained loyal and a valuable member of the squad, he is truly now one of our own, time to recognise that !
Photo: Action Images
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