Opinion

Oriol Romeu was Southampton’s unsung hero in victory at Huddersfield

Oriol Romeu was Southampton’s unsung hero in victory at Huddersfield

Southampton supporters have been in high spirits in recent times after seeing their side record a second successive Premier League victory on Saturday.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men went into their meeting with fellow strugglers Huddersfield Town off the back of narrowly edging past Arsenal 3-2 at St Mary’s a week earlier, and thus seeking back-to-back league victories for the first time since April 2017 when they made the trip to the John Smith’s Stadium. And they did just that as goals from Nathan Redmond, Danny Ings, and Michael Obafemi inspired the visitors to a 3-1 success over the Terriers, thus moving the Saints up to 16th place in the Premier League table.

Thus, there have been many thrilled Southampton fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are likely to be raving about the efforts of winger Redmond, who was absolutely brilliant in netting once and setting up another to help the South Coast outfit to all three points.

The England international had struggled for form greatly under former boss Mark Hughes but got his first contribution of the season against Arsenal last week, before backing that up brilliantly with two more to inspire the Saints to victory over David Wagner’s Huddersfield.

And while the former Norwich City and Birmingham City man deserves huge credit for the part he played in Saturday’s win, midfielder Oriol Romeu, who earns £65,000 a week as per Spotrac, was the real inspiration behind Southampton’s third league win of the season.

The 27-year-old was a pretty irregular figure under former boss Hughes earlier this term in starting only five times prior to Hasenhuttl’s arrival, although three successive starts under the ex-Red Bull Leipzig boss underlines just how crucial he looks set to be in the new era.

And performances like on Saturday emphasise exactly why, as the Spaniard did his bit both on and indeed off the ball to power the Saints to all three points.

Romeu finished the clash with a healthy pass success rate of 78%, which was the joint-highest alongside Redmond of those that started for the visitors (as per WhoScored), while his tally of one completed dribble suggested that he was willing to get on the ball and try and make things happen for Hasenhuttl’s side.

Significantly though, the 27-year-old was superb off the ball in winning two aerial duels over the course of the 90 minutes, while his tally of three completed tackles was more than any of his Southampton teammates.

Add in a team-high three interceptions, three clearances, and two blocks, and Romeu was invariably in the way of what Huddersfield tried to do in the final third of the field, at the same time doing his bit to relieve the pressure on a backline that have shown frailties in weeks gone by.

So while Redmond will likely earn many rave reviews for his efforts at the John Smith’s Stadium, it’s plainly obvious that 27-year-old Romeu was the real inspiration behind Southampton’s second consecutive win on Saturday.

Southampton fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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