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Claude Puel: “Oriol Romeu is the level of an international.”

Speaking in an extensive, exclusive interview with today’s L’Équipe, Southampton manager Claude Puel roundly praised his squad, particularly defensive midfielder Oriol Romeu.

“I have a quality squad. In terms of the statistics, we are very well placed in terms of chances and possession. But in terms of efficiency in front of goal, we are last. We should have beaten Leicester, even Claudio Ranieri recognised that. My players? In attack, Nathan Redmond has fantastic feet, he puts the ball wherever he wants at training. He spent his youth career as a winger and I have now played him centrally. In a match situation, he is not yet totally comfortable because this is new for him, like it was for Alassane (Plèa) at Nice. Redmond will become a great striker.”

“Dusan Tadic is a very good passer who reads the game well. Behind, Virgil van Djik has everything, physically he is a monster, he takes everything into account, he is clever, technical. He could become one of the 5 best central defenders in the world. And then there is Oriol Romeu. He is very good in terms of recovering the ball, a bit like “Papy” Mendy (now of Leicester City. We have put him in front of the defence, like a lock. He picks everything up, does not lose balls, everything goes through him. He touches the ball more than 100 times a match, he has an ability to deliver disguised passes, a but like (Jean) Seri. He is not well known but is of international level.”

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