He made have played in the same position as Oriol Romeu during his playing days, but Southampton boss Claude Puel says the Spaniard is a different type of defensive midfielder.
Romeu has had an extremely impressive start to the season, and continues to go from strength to strength at the base of Puel’s midfield.
The system, it seems, is working for the former Barcelona man, and while Puel accepts he played the same position during his time as a player, he has praised Romeu for his ability on the ball.
“He’s more technical,” he told reporters ahead of Sunday’s game against Chelsea – Romeu’s former club. “I was a different generation.
“I played in front of the defence and I had a good recovery of the ball, but now it’s important in modern football to have a player in this position who is very technical.
“The play for this position, it’s important the player can have a good ability to work the ball and to change and to switch it wide while anticipating the situation.
IT'S IMPORTANT THE PLAYER CAN HAVE A GOOD QUALITY TO WORK WITH THE BALL.CLAUDE PUEL
“It’s important because it’s a part of the team and all the opponents try to make a good pressing, because every ball recovery on this play is dangerous for the team.
“It is important for this player to be a good technical player, to not lose the ball and to start the action with quality.”
Does Puel see any similarities? “It is the first quality of the player in this position [to be a tough tackler],” he added. “But in this position it is important to protect the defence.
“It is the role of Oriol with us.”