Oriol Romeu has been handed a new three-year contract at Chelsea despite not featuring in the club’s recent plans.
Romeu has battled through bad knee problems to fight his way back to full fitness, giving himself plenty of options ahead of the new Premier League season.
The Spaniard featured in this week’s 5-0 pre-season friendly win against Wycombe as he looks to break into Jose Mourinho’s plans ahead of the new season.
There could be a realistic chance for Romeu to feature for the Blues although he will be behind Nemanja Matic in the pecking order.
David Luiz’ departure to PSG and links which suggest John Obi Mikel could be heading to Italy, mean there could be space for another holding player in Mourinho’s 23-man Premier League squad.
Luiz is naturally a defender, but he played in front of the back four at times last season. Romeu hasn’t played competitively for the club since 2012 so the news of a brand new contract will be confusing to a lot of fans.
It will be interesting to see how he does if he’s given a chance to play competitively by Mourinho because the Premier League, domestic cup competitions and the Champions League are a big step up from a friendly against a football league team.
However, Mourinho must be praised for creating one of the most versatile and talented squads of players in England.
He’s a coach who will recognise the hard work and effort of players, unafraid to make big calls and decisions if stars don’t conform to his ideal way of playing as the sale of Juan Mata last season demonstrates.
Romeu looked bulky against Wycombe and has extra work to do to improve his fitness ahead of competitive action, but all of the early signs look positive.
Here’s what Chelsea fans have made of the new deal on Twitter.
cfc_wale) July 17, 2014
Great news for Oriol Romeu - signing a new 3 year contract with Chelsea, keeping him at the club until 2017 #CFC— Gigi Salmon (@gigi_salmon) July 17, 2014
Giving Romeu a new contract. I guess second chances do happen.— Dami (@TheChelseaWay) July 17, 2014
Certainly thought Romeu was on his way out. Good to have him on board with a new contract though— Eden Hazard Ten (@EdenHazardTen) July 17, 2014
Oriol Romeu has signed a new contract extension with Chelsea. Who would have expected that?!— Subastian (@subasCfc) July 17, 2014
Romeu signed a new contract? Didn't see that coming.— (@b4llack_) July 17, 2014