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‘I didn’t like it physically or mentally’ – Oriol Romeu details tough Barcelona debut season

Oriol Romeu was signed by Barcelona last summer with the hope that he would bring an experienced presence and a hunger to make his first team debut after coming through the club’s academy to finally play for Barça again over a decade later and replace a departing legend in Sergio Busquets.

Twelve months later things have not gone well for Romeu: the 32-year-old started just 17 games and recorded one assist in 37 total appearances for the club last season, and was mostly left on the bench in the second half of the campaign. He made plenty of mistakes and struggled to adapt to Xavi Hernández’s system, and the overwhelming expectation is that Oriol will be leaving Barça after just one season with a return to former club Girona the most likely option.

And the player has not been shy about his struggles either. Speaking in an interview this week Romeu opened up about his season at Barça, revealing it was a difficult time both physically and mentally for a player who struggled to find a place in the team and be fully healthy throughout the campaign.

“Barça comes with an offer on the table and tells you you’ll be very important… And then everything happens differently.

“When I was on the bench, I tried to stay mentally in the match if Xavi wanted me to come in. If I did play, the adrenaline is higher and I couldn’t sleep if I lost a match. I didn’t like it from a physical standpoint and even less from a mental standpoint, because of individual mistakes and bad performances.

“I value a lot what Busquets did but I didn’t come in with the intention to replace him. I expected a lot more from myself than people did.

Source: Marca

It’s a shame that Oriol Romeu didn’t work at Barça, but the simple truth is it didn’t work. The pressure of replacing Busquets was clearly too high for a player who wasn’t ready for it, and the fact he was replaced in the defensive midfield position by Andreas Christensen from January onwards makes it pretty clear the fit just wasn’t great.

Hopefully a return to Girona with a chance to play in the Champions League can help Oriol find his joy again, but it seems pretty clear he won’t be part of Barça’s plans even with a change in manager.

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