Romeu not letting international talk go to his head

Southampton's Spanish midfielder has ensured that he is fully focused on domestic matters, despite rumours of a Spain call-up.

Romeu not letting international talk go to his head
Romeu insists speculation of a Spain international debut will not affect him. Photo: Getty/Shaun Botterill

Oriol Romeu has received many plaudits due to his excellent form for Southampton so far this season, but he is wary of letting this praise have a negative effect on him. 

Manager Claude Puel has been delighted with the defensive midfielder's passionate, yet assured, displays throughout the opening few months of the campaign, even tipping the 25-year-old for an inaugural international call up with his country, Spain.

While this recognition was both pleasing and deserved, Romeu maintains that playing for his national team is the least of his worries at the moment, and that he is far more concerned about his performances on the South Coast instead.

Excellent form

It is a measure of how valuable Oriol Romeu is to Southampton that he has started every match in both the Premier League and the Europa League this season. Squad rotation has been a necessity for the Saints as they face an endlessly packed fixture list, but the tough-tackling Spaniard has simply been too good to leave out.

Romeu has been nothing short of outstanding this season. Photo: Getty.
Romeu has been nothing short of outstanding this season. Photo: Getty.

Romeu always seems to be at the heart of everything good about the Saints. He possesses a special ability to regain possession through either a tenacious challenge or by using his impeccable footballing brain to sniff out an interception. Once he's retrieved the ball, he demonstartes impressive composure to pick out a team-mate and start an attack more often than not. 

Romeu was crucial during Southampton's run of six consecutive clean sheets during September and October and, excluding defender Virgil Van Dijk, has probably been the best player at St Mary's this season.

The ex-Chelsea man's excellent form has unsurprisingly been applauded by his boss Puel, who went as far as saying that Romeu deserves an opportunity at international level with his native Spain. 

Feet firmly on the ground

Despite Puel's fantastic and rewarding comments, the uncapped Romeu has insisted that while playing for La Roja would be "huge", he will not "lose sleep about it".

He acknowledged that the speculation is "something nice to hear", but stated that "if it comes I will be happy, but if it doesn't I will keep doing the same".

Romeu is focused on performing for Southampton amid the recognition and rumours. Photo: Getty.
Romeu is focused on performing for Southampton amid the recognition and rumours. Photo: Getty.

Romeu's professional response to such high acclaim emphasises his exceptional temperament. International call-up or not, the signs for Saints fans seem positive.

Herrera gives hope

Romeu did admit however, that last week's international debut of Manchester United's Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera has given him encouragement that his own opportunity is not too far away. He believes that "it's always good to see Premier League players linked to the national team because the coaches are giving them a chance".

Ander Herrera's recent debut has given Romeu hope that English-based Spaniards can make the international team. Photo: Getty.
Ander Herrera's recent debut has given Romeu hope that English-based Spaniards can make the international team. Photo: Getty.

The midfielder will have undoubtedly been concerned that playing abroad may mean he slips under the radar of manager Julen Lopetegui, but the emergence of Herrera seems to have reassured this fear.

If Romeu can keep his supreme form for Southampton going, then it will surely not be long at all before he does get given his chance at the pinnacle of world football.