Has Oriol Romeu outshone Victor Wanyama for Southampton?

Alexis Sanchez fights for the ball with Victor Wanyama

Oriol Romeu has been asked to fill the void Victor Wanyama left when he moved to Tottenham. How do the two compare?

Alexis Sanchez fights for the ball with Victor WanyamaVictor Wanyama spent three seasons at St Mary's

When Southampton sold three key players last summer far more was made of the departures of Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle than Victor Wanyama, mainly because it was clear to everyone except the club's hierarchy that if they didn't replace the two forwards they would struggle for goals.

Sure enough, Saints have been infrequent scorers until the recent arrival of Manolo Gabbiadini has given them the attacking focal point the team was crying out for.

Oriol Romeu was the man tasked with filling the void left by Wanyama’s exit – a role he played many times last season when the Kenyan was suspended – and on the surface at least he looks to have done a good job.

While Wanyama’s displays at Tottenham have earned him much acclaim, Romeu has actually made considerably more tackles and interceptions over the course of the season.

  TeamGoalsPassing AccuracyTotal TackleInterceptionDuel WonYellow CardAppearances
Victor Wanyama Tottenham 2 88% 69 33 179 7 26
Oriol Romeu Southampton 0 85% 82 54 165 6 24

Stats can be misleading, and it stands to reason that Wanyama may have made fewer tackles and interceptions because his opponents have less possession than Romeu’s, but nonetheless they underline that Romeu has had a good season.

Southampton's Oriol Romeu reactsOriol Romeu has been widely praised for his displays this season

Indeed he’s thrice been named Southampton’s player of the month.

Wanyama has shone in Tottenham's impressive ascent up to second place in the league, with powerful performances securing massive wins against Manchester City and Chelsea earlier in the season.

Such a presence would have helped the Saints in their own matches against the top teams, where the midfield as a whole has looked lightweight and at times been overrun. Romeu has impressed, but he can’t do it all himself.

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