Reports abroad are rife that Oriol Romeu is being closely watched by Valencia. The Spanish daily “Superdeporte” believes that Valencia are sending representatives to Spain’s U21 game with Croatia tonight to watch Romeu in action before debating the prospect of a transfer bid.
This transfer would certainly come as something of a surprise considering Chelsea only signed the young Spaniard last summer and is regarded as a great potential.
Having been signed by the now ousted Andre Villas Boas from Barcelona, big things were expected from Romeu and he showed fleeting glimpses of what he is capable of , especially in the early stages of last season when AVB showed a lot of faith in the youngster.
Many believe that the signing of Romeu was one of the very few positives that Chelsea took from the AVB era. Romeu played 15 times for Chelsea last season, but the majority of these appearances did come under AVB’s tenure, and the arrival of Di Matteo as Chelsea’s new manager coincided with Romeu appearing far less frequently.
Admittedly, injury did hamper Romeu on occasions during the second half of last season, but all the indications point towards Di Matteo preferring John Obi Mikel in that defensive midfield role. Mikel has started all three of Chelsea’s league games so far this campaign, whilst Romeu has been restricted to being an unused substitute in two, and wasn’t selected whatsoever against Wigan, underlying Di Matteo’s philosophy of placing greater trust in the more experienced players on Chelsea’s books.
Yet the departures of both Raul Meireles and Michael Essien from the heart of Chelsea’s midfield suggests that Chelsea still believe in Oriol Romeu’s ability, and that he is set to play a more influential role in the coming campaign. Whilst Chelsea are blessed with options in regard to attacking midfield players, they look relatively weak from a defensive point of view, so allowing Romeu to leave makes little logical sense. Chelsea were also very quick to deny reports suggesting that Barcelona had agreed a deal with Chelsea whereby the Catalan side were able to sign Romeu back within two years if they so wished to do so.
With Chelsea once again competing on so many fronts this season, a large squad is needed with adequate cover for all areas. Even if Mikel remains first choice, Romeu will be called upon in his absence, and will likely be given ample opportunity in the domestic cups. With this in mind, it’s tough to see a player of Romeu’s potential leaving Stamford Bridge, especially so soon after arriving.