Southampton fans have become accustom to seeing their top players and managers leave for pastures new year-on-year. However, one man that, at the start of the season, they would not have envisaged being poached this summer is Oriol Romeu.
The former Chelsea man has been the standout performer for the Saints this season, along with defender Virgil van Dijk, and has more than capably plugged the hole left by the now-Tottenham man, Victor Wanyama, whose departure last summer looked as if it would hurt the south coast side more than any other.
The Spaniard has taken everything in his stride and been a mainstay for Claude Puel in his first season as a Premier League manager.
However, the imposing defensive midfielder is now being linked with a return to Barcelona, where he spent the early years of his youth career in the famed La Masia academy before moving to west London.
According to reports from The Express, the Catalan club are looking into bringing their graduate back to La Liga as a long-term replacement for Sergio Busquets.
The Saints seem to recover time and again from losing key men, however, Romeu seems one that, at this time, they simply cannot afford to lose, and here’s why…