Barcelona veteran Oriol Romeu is fresh to the side, but has started off in excellent form, starting all of their games so far. Romeu also spoke about the hierarchy of the team, and perhaps hinted at a new era in midfield.
Following a 5-0 win over Real Betis on Saturday night, Barcelona are on a high with what many believe to be their best performance since their Spanish Supercup victory in January over Real Madrid.
One of the stars of show was Frenkie de Jong, whom Romeu was asked about.
“The relationship is very good, an excellent guy. On the field he is a luxury. He holds onto the ball, he gives it to you in the best conditions… he is one of the best midfielders in Europe. He leads the team.”
De Jong has made the midfield his own in recent months, following doubts previously about whether he could coexist with Sergio Busquets. In recent years he has struggled to put his stamp on the side, instead being asked to accommodate others with his game. This season he has been amongst Barcelona’s best players though.
Equally Gavi, who has perhaps received less praise than his colleagues, put in an excellent performance as part of a three-man midfield.
“Gavi is a player who for the age he has and the attitude he brings to every game is to be admired. He always orientates himself well and knows how to interpret the game. Inside the locker room, having him by your side is a pleasure. I hope he can continue at this level. The competition [for places] is very high.”
Romeu and de Jong have been fixtures in Barcelona’s midfield so far, but Xavi Hernandez is facing tricky decisions on the horizon. Should he revert to three in midfield rather than four, he will have to choose from the three mentioned above, as well as Pedri and Ilkay Gundogan.