Catalan sports paper Sport reports that Barca already have its replacement for Ivory Coast international Yaya Toure. Barcelona B midfielder and Spain U-19 international Oriol Romeu (18), one of the greatest promises of the Blaugrana academy, is reportedly an alternative to take over the defensive midfield role as a backup to Sergio Busquets.
Those who have seen him play since he joined La Masia at the age of 10, know all about his potential. Barcelona’s defensive midfield answer is at home, and is known as Oriol Romeu Vidal.
Oriol, who will be starting for Spain in the European U-19 Championship finals when they take on the French on their own soil tomorrow, gave a man of the match performance in the semi-final’s against England and has been one of the players of the tournament as he keeps impressing one and all with his all conquering performances.
Equipped with an impressive physical presence, currently measures 1.83 metres (medical staff at Barcelona predict he will grow upto 1.85 metres), Romeu is a player who combines strength, technique and tactical sense.
Romeu, in the words of his coaches at Barcelona, fits perfectly to the profile of ‘4’ and embodies the modern evolution of a type of player that is the paradigm of Barcelona’s world renowned La Masia academy.
According to Cadet A coach Fran Sanchez, who coached the player during his Cadet B days, “Romeu is a player of this new profile that is emerging, but organizationally he is very safe. In this sense, he has taken a step forward. Knows exactly how to keep his position and plays the game like Busquets.”
Only three years older than him is Sergio Busquets (21), a player who is already a world champion with Spain and is currently the lone defensive midfielder at Barcelona following the departure of Yaya Toure to Manchester City. Romeu has no objection in recognizing that the player from Sabadell is his reference and someone he idolises his own game upon. In fact, all those who have seen him play compare him to Busquets.
In an interview with Madrid based sports paper ‘Marca’ last Saturday, Oriol revealed,
“I try to base my game upon Busquets. The key to his game is anticipation. He knows two seconds before anyone else does where the ball will go. You have to be quick, and make it easy for the others. That’s what I try to do.”
Another facet to Romeu’s game is his versatility, excells in the double pivot role, as he does with Spain (in a perfect match with Thiago) or as a single pivot, a role at which the Ivorian Yaya Toure was so good at. He can also fill in the central defender role whenever required.
Oriol Romeu in action during last year’s European U-19 Championship: