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Oriol Romeu: an insight from a Chelsea fan

We spoke to a Chelsea fan for his thoughts on Southampton new boy Oriol Romeu.

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Yesterday, Southampton made another move to build their squad as they completed the signing of Chelsea's Oriol Romeu in a deal worth a reported £5milion.

While we have seen glimpses of Romeu in Premier League action after his 2011 move from Barcelona, since suffering a knee injury he has spent his last two seasons on loan abroad at Valencia and Stuttgart.

We asked Chelsea fan Greg Grimes for his thoughts on Romeu for some insight ahead of his move to St. Mary's.

St. Mary's Musings: What do you and other Chelsea fans think of Romeu?

Greg Grimes: Chelsea fans are usually split over Romeu. When he first came to the club many fans thought he should have straight into the starting XI. I didn't agree as I thought he was still quite raw. If I remember rightly, he came to the club under Andre Villas-Boas and did well in cup games and league matches until around Christmas.

His big chance came in the next season once a number of midfielders were sold but he suffered a bad knee injury at a crucial time - and subsequently never really featured for Chelsea after that.

SMM: Why did he not feature for Chelsea as much as initially hoped?

GG: I think the change in manager with AVB and limited opportunities under Roberto Di Matteo - who recalled the the experienced players back for the second half of the season. He had the chance at the start of the next season once Michael Essien and Raul Meireles left the club, but that's when injury struck.

After that, he went out on loan and didn't stand out enough to merit a spot back in the Chelsea midfield.

SMM: What qualities does he bring to the midfield?

GG: He's solid, has good ball retention, is a decent passer and you may see the odd attempt at goal from distance. Sometimes they come off, they often don't. I think he will be good cover for Victor Wanyama. But, his weaknesses were pace and positional. Hopefully he has improved while out on loan. <!-- ######## START FLOATED VIDEO SNIPPET ######## -->

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SMM: Do you think he will be a success at Southampton?

GG: I always thought we should have loaned Romeu out to a fellow Premier League side. What better way to get him up to speed for Chelsea? I always thought he was good enough to play for us.

I feel he will really help Southampton balance the combination of Premier League and Europa League games. At 23 years old, he has already played in three major European leagues which is impressive.

SMM: How did Romeu fare at the clubs he was loaned to?

GG: Romeu didn't really feature that much for Valencia who he was first loaned out to in 2013 after coming off his knee injury. I think he struggled for fitness in his return to Spain.

He then got a run in that Valencia team around Christmas but again succumbed to injury and never regained his place after that. However, Chelsea still gave him a new contract after that season.

For Stuttgart, he played close to 30 league games until he lost his regular starting spot once they signed Srey Die in January. There was talk Stuttgart wanted to sign Romeu permanently but after Die, there was no need.