Saints have today confirmed that Oriol Romeu has signed a new two-and-a-half year contract with the Club.
The Spanish midfielder, who joined from Chelsea in 2015, extends his stay at St. Mary's until 2023.
Originally signed by Ronald Koeman (for just c£5m!), Romeu has gone on to make 198 appearances for the Club, being named as both the Fans' and Players' Player of the Season in 2016/17.
Known as an energetic footballer who loves a tackle, Romeu has become a key cog in the centre of Ralph Hasenhüttl's side.
Alongside midfield partner James Ward-Prowse, this campaign has seen the Spaniard help Saints to one of their best ever Premier League starts.
Speaking of Romeu's new deal, 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.”
Romeu's consistent form since 'Project Restart' has undoubtedly helped the Club to overcome the summer exit of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (to Tottenham Hotspur).
A delighted Oriol added, “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.”
As Martin Semmens (CEO) outlined in the recent Total Saints Podcast 'Red & White Insight' (TSP136 : listen here), Saints have spent the past few weeks working on a number of new deals for their squad.
With that in mind, fans will hope Romeu's announcement is the first in a line of positive contract updates.
TSP - Did you know?
During his career, Oriol Romeu has (in no particular order) played under André Villas-Boas, Roberto Di Matteo, Rafa Benitez, Jose Mourinho, Luis Enrique, Pep Guardiola, Ronald Koeman and Ralph Hasenhüttl.
Not a bad list, eh!
Article by Ben Stanfield
(Photo courtesy of Southampton Football Club)