New Contract For Oriol Romeu
Thursday, 19th Nov 2020 18:31
A year ago Oriol Romeu's time at Southampton looked to be coming to an end, after the run of games in the Autumn that saw Saints plunge down the table, he found himself down in the pecking order, but to his credit he has battled back and is now a first choice in the midfield again.
After Saints awful run last autumn, Oriol Romeu found himself mainly on the bench with James Ward Prowse and Pierre Emile Hojbjerg ruling the roost in the centre of the midfield, by January he was struggling to get game time and often found himself getting only a few minutes as the clock was run down.
At this stage his future looked far from certain, but with Hojbjerg clearly having had his head turned by Tottenham Hotspur and Ralph Hasenhuttl not prepared to start players who were not committed to the cause long term, a chance arose for Romeu and he took it with both hands.
This season has been ever present and arguably up there with Danny Ings, Che Adams and James Ward Prowse as the key elements in Saints good form, the worry was though that he was now in the final year of his deal and if we were not careful he could leave for nothing at the end of the season.
Now though comes the good news that the midfielder has signed a new contract that will take him to the summer of 2023, a term that is he sees it through will see him have completed 8 seasons at the club be surely considered one of the great buys of the past decade having cost a bargain £5 million when he joined from Chelsea in the summer of 2015.
In many respects comparisons can be drawn with Steve Davis, a player who like Romeu has not always been appreciated by some, but never lets the side down and always gives 100%.
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhüttl said:
“I have not seen many players who are as professional as Oriol in my time as a manager.
“He gives his absolute commitment in everything that he does, whether it is in training or in a match, and this is a great example to set.
“Since I have been here, he has played some fantastic games for us, and the work he does in the number six position is very important – closing the space, putting pressure on his opponents, winning the ball back.
“Even if he does not play he still supports the team 100 per cent at all times, and he is always pushing everyone around him. These are the sorts of players you want to have in your squad.”
The player himself is just as delighted to have signed a new deal:
“Staying here for longer is just what I wanted and I’m so happy and so pleased to get to this point. It’s been six years now and has been a long journey, but I’m very excited and haven’t felt as good as I’m feeling right now, so I want to keep this momentum going as long as possible.
“It does really feel like home. I know everyone around now and they also know me. It’s great to commit to the club for longer and I’m very happy they also insisted on me staying. I’ve always tried to help the team the best I can and that’s paid off. The feelings right now are very good and we all feel very optimistic, and we must carry on like this.”
“We all see that something is forming and something is being built right now,” he said.
“The club have told me that they want me to be a part of it and that’s a privilege. We don’t know what’s going to happen, but the future looks bright and good.
“Being part of it makes me feel very happy and I feel privileged.
“Everything has come together very nicely and the team has improved massively. It’s probably the best I’m feeling and also probably the best I’ve seen the team playing.”
Romeu has now made 198 appearances for Saints across the four competitions that the club has played in during his time here, undoubtedly there is now competition for midfield places now with the arrival of Ibrahima Diallo, but that can only be good for the team.
When Hojbjerg left there were many who were worried that we could not replace him, the revitalised Romeu has shown that we did not need to and with the addition of Diallo we have a strong centre of midfield for the next few years.
The word club legend should not be used lightly, this season should see Romeu overtake Steven Davis's total games for the club and indeed he will have played more than several others considered club legend's, time for the fans to appreciate what he has done here, certainly Ralph Hasenhuttl and the club do having awarded him this new deal.
Photo: Action Images
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