Oriol Romeu (Ulldecona, 1991), who will turn 32 in September, will wear the Barca shirt again 12 seasons after having to leave the Camp Nou due to the impact caused by Sergio Busquets. Romeu’s curriculum and his link with Barca have been conditioned by the career of the man who has been captain of Barcelona and on Monday signed for Inter Miami led by Messi. No player from the academy or the many signings that have taken place, from Song to Mascherano, who had to be retrained as a centre-back, have been able to compete with Busquets since his debut on September 13, 2008 in a league match against Racing. Busquets has just left for America and Oriol Romeu is scheduled to return today to form part of the Barca team that is beginning a tour to the United States. At first glance it seems the best solution, not only economic but perhaps also sporting, to a structural problem at Barca.
“I often wondered, especially when I saw the list of candidates to replace Busquets, how was it possible that Oriol Romeu was not noticed,” says Domènec Torrent, former coach of Gatalasaray, Flamengo and New York City, assistant coach of Bayern and of Manchester City with Pep Guardiola and a member of the Barca coaching staff from 2008 to 2012. “He seems to me to be a very qualified player and that Barca can do very well,” he continues. “He not only knows the house but his game culture and I understand that his timing, positioning and defensive attitude, especially in recovering the ball, are similar to Busquets. Perhaps the difference is seen in the offensive phase, in the movements with the ball; he is not a driving player like De Jong either, but he is a pivot that will give a lot of balance ”, adds Torrent.
Oriol Romeu’s ascendancy is manifested both on the pitch and in the dressing room due to his leadership, as was confirmed in his last season at Girona. “He is imposed by his behavior, without having to say anything, omnipresent with his silence,” they maintain in Michel’s team, who will be left without a capital piece in exchange for about 4.5 million and the transfer of Pablo Torre. “The price also supports his move to Barca,” defends Torrent. The alternatives of Zubimendi, Kimmich or Brozovic were too expensive for Barca. The Romeu option is not only economically acceptable but it can be good for Xavi sportingly. In any case, the coach’s judgment was categorical when he was asked about Busquets’ replacement: “The name of the midfielder will mark the objectives of the season,” Xavi announced.
The coach and player know each other well and have exchanged messages before meeting again at Barca because Oriol Romeu trained a lot and even played two games with Guardiola’s team: one in the Super Cup in August 2010 against Sevilla and a second in the League against Deportivo in May 2011. A starter in Luis Enrique’s subsidiary, after joining the Barca youth team in 2004 from Espanyol, he did not have a tour in the first team squad and in 2011 he was transferred to Chelsea for 4.3 million . The Premier was expensive for him, like Barca, and he had to compete in Stuttgart and Valencia until in 2015 he arrived at Southampton and two years later he was chosen as the best of the Saints. The recognition of his worth was extended last year in Girona.
The path has been so fruitful that it allowed him to write the book The season of my life: the inner journey of a footballer, where he recounts his day to day of the 2020-21 season. A football journey and about life, inspired by how Romeu feels since Mata gave him the work tokyo blues by Haruki Murakami, when they both met in London. Oriol Romeu is equally concerned with life and the evolution of football, obsessed with “learning to balance” since teams move like clockwork, as he stated in an interview with EL PAIS.
Barca had no choice but to look back and recover an acquaintance – his incorporation will be made official today – for a key position in the game mechanics since the arrival of Cruyff in 1988 and the commitment to Milla
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Source: EL PAIS