A play­er who was sold dur­ing Southampton’s sum­mer fire­sale last sum­mer has endured a tor­rid time since leav­ing St Mary’s.

Fol­low­ing rel­e­ga­tion from the Pre­mier League, Southamp­ton had to cut their cloth accord­ing­ly by sell­ing some of their best tal­ents, pock­et­ing a com­bined £150 mil­lion.

The Saints raised vital funds after drop­ping down from the top flight with sev­er­al play­ers cur­rent­ly flour­ish­ing at their new clubs, includ­ing James Ward-Prowse at West Ham, Nathan Tel­la at Bay­er Lev­erkusen and Tino Livra­men­to at New­cas­tle Unit­ed.

Oth­er exports haven’t been quite as for­tu­nate, with Romeo Lavia – who they sold to Chelsea for £58 mil­lion – cur­rent­ly strug­gling due to mat­ters that are out of his hands.

Southampton FC v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Pho­to by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Get­ty Images

Romeo Lavia’s time at Southampton

Southamp­ton made the shrewd £10.5 mil­lion cap­ture of Lavia from Man­ches­ter City in the sum­mer of 2022.

Aged 18 at the time, Lavia rose to promi­nence at St Mary’s as a ball-win­ning machine, rank­ing in the top 11% of Pre­mier League’s mid­field­ers last sea­son for blocks and the top 23% for inter­cep­tions.

A shield in front of the Saints defence, who pos­sessed the pace, pow­er and press resis­tance to dri­ve for­ward with the ball, Lavia made 29 appear­ances in his first full cam­paign of top-flight foot­ball.

Despite suf­fer­ing rel­e­ga­tion to the Cham­pi­onship, the tal­ent­ed mid­field­er pos­sessed “so much poten­tial”, as described by for­mer Man­ches­ter Unit­ed star Paul Scholes, and knew he would be inun­dat­ed with offers from some of the biggest clubs.

A rare shin­ing light in a side that fin­ished bot­tom, the Man City acad­e­my grad­u­ate was the sub­ject of a trans­fer tus­sle from Liv­er­pool and Chelsea with the Blues and Todd Boehly’s rich­es com­ing out on top.

Lavia was expect­ed to slot along­side Moi­ses Caice­do and Enzo Fer­nan­dez in Mauri­cio Pochettino’s mid­field, but an injury-strick­en cam­paign has pre­vent­ed him from leav­ing his mark.

Romeo Lavia’s injury nightmare at Chelsea

Regard­ed as one of the Pre­mier League’s best defen­sive mid­field­ers, Lavia arrived at Chelsea with an ankle injury and missed almost five months at the begin­ning of the sea­son.

The 20-year-old didn’t make his Blues debut till Decem­ber, com­ing off the bench for a 32-minute cameo against Crys­tal Palace.

How­ev­er, that was his last action on the pitch with Pochet­ti­no con­firm­ing after the game that he had suf­fered anoth­er injury.

The for­mer Man City man hasn’t fea­tured since with Chelsea’s offi­cial web­site now con­firm­ing he’s out for the remain­der of the 2023/24 cam­paign.

Dur­ing a cru­cial peri­od as a young play­er, Lavia has been robbed of first-team action by two hor­ri­ble injuries and it’s a real shame because he’d have been a use­ful weapon for Pochet­ti­no to unleash.

Related Topics