Collective hearts leapt into collective mouths of Chelsea fans when the news broke that the Blues had “agreed a deal for Barcelona midfielder”...Andres Iniesta? Xavi? Even Sergio Busquets? No such luck sadly, the sentence finished “...Oriol Romeu.”
Despite not being the traditional ‘marquee’ signing Chelsea fans have possibly come to expect over the past few years, the acquisition of the Spain U20s international signifies Andre Villas-Boas’ intentions for the future and his youthful outlook.
But who is Oriol Romeu?
Here are 5 things you need to know about the latest man to move to the Bridge.
1) He was originally on the books of Barca’s neighbours Espanyol, but moved to Camp Nou in 2004 and has since climbed the ladder under the guidance of Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola.
2) Romeu was part of Spain’s U17 side that were crowned European champions in 2008. In 11 matches, they remained undefeated.
3) Although predominantly a defensive midfielder, Oriol can also be utilised at centre-back and is renowned for his strength and expansive passing ability.
4) Oriol is currently on international duty for Spain at the U20 World Cup in Colombia. He has so far been an ever-present in the tournament, as Spain’s starlets swept aside Costa Rica and Ecuador, 4-1 and 2-0 respectively.
5) Despite only making his La Liga debut for Pep Guardiola’s side at the tail-end of last season, the Catalan outfit were loath to let him go and as such, insisted on by-back clauses in his Chelsea contract. These were agreed at 10 million Euros after one year and 15 million Euros after two years.
With Chelsea stalwart Michael Essien out for around six months after sustaining a cruciate injury in pre-season training, Oriol could prove an essential purchase by Villas-Boas. And as a youth product of Camp Nou, he can’t be half bad!
As Jessie J sang, “It’s not about the money, money, money...forget about the price tag.”
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