Southampton

TT Battle: Oriol Romeu vs Victor Wanyama

Southampton finally put Mark Hughes out of his misery as they sacked the former Stoke City manager on Monday. 

Saints did manage to pull off a good result at the weekend as they held Man U to a draw but overall, they should’ve won the game.

Despite having a solid season with the club under Claude Puel and being a solid first-team starter last year, Hughes has dropped Romeu this season. The Spaniard had looked like he could replace now Spurs midfielder Victor Wanyama but those hopes seem to have disappeared under Hughes.

Victor Wanyama

Signed for £11 million from Southampton in 2016, Wanyama made an instant impact at Spurs when he arrived as the Kenyan midfielder gave Mauricio Pochettino some much-needed steel in the middle of the park.

He made 36 appearances in the league in his first year but since then, the former Southampton man has struggled to get back into the side due to injury. Last season he only made 18 appearances for the club and so far this year, he’s once again struggled to get fit and has so far only featured seven times this season.

Without his strength and physicality in midfield, Spurs lack a huge part of their spine and Eric Dier just hasn’t been able to replicate it.

TT Grade: B

Before Wanyama left for Tottenham, he had formed a solid midfield partnership with Romeu in midfield. The Spaniard had joined Saints for just £5 million in 2015 after loan spells with Valencia and Stuttgart.

When Wanyama departed, the Spaniard took the lead role as the club’s battling midfielder enforcer and only missed one game for Claude Puel throughout the whole season. As a result of that, he signed a new deal last year but under Hughes, he’s struggled to get into the side this year.

At his best, he provides a solid defensive presence who can also take the ball under pressure and doesn’t waste possession.

Hughes has made a mistake in not playing him and Southampton must look to get him back into the team as quickly as possible.

TT Grade: B-

The Verdict

It was a close one to call but considering his performances for both Saints and Spurs, Wanyama wins this one. He is an incredibly solid midfielder and is essential to Pochettino’s side.

Romeu is himself a dependable midfielder and has been wasted by Hughes this season. Hughes completely misused the midfielder and whoever Southampton bring in, has to reintroduce him into the side.

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