ORIOL'S OPPORTUNITY

Posted on: Fri 30 Mar 2012

Oriol Romeu believes he is in peak condition to take advantage of the 'great opportunity' he has been given at Chelsea.

The 19-year-old Spaniard has been speaking publicly for the first time since his arrival from Barcelona earlier this month, and he is hoping his hard work will pay off as he looks to edge his way into Andre Villas-Boas's plans.

'This is one of the best clubs in the world, the coach expressed an interest in me and I thought it would be a wise choice to take advantage of being part of such a huge club,' he said, when asked what had attracted him to Stamford Bridge.

'I have been interested in this club for a while now. I understand there are a lot of high-level footballers here but my aim is to keep improving and learn from the other footballers around me and work hard as part of this team.

'I am just going to make the most of the experience and take advantage of all the opportunities that arrive. I am going to work hard in training and give it my all, and earn whatever opportunity arises to play in the first team. I am not setting myself important long-term goals, I'm just going to give it my all during every training session.'

Romeu - Chelsea

The youngster impressed for his country during the Under 20 World Cup in Colombia, helping them reach the quarter-finals before elimination on penalties to Brazil, and now he is focused on forcing his way into the Chelsea side.

'I played in a couple of really tough games during the World Cup against Korea and Brazil, they went into extra-time and this helped me to improve how I am physically and my condition,' explained the midfielder. 'I'm in great physical shape right now and happy with the way things are.

'I am concentrating on this season, I want to do my best and make the most of the opportunity I've been given. Chelsea has given me this great opportunity and I want to play as many games as possible.'

Romeu is just one of a growing Spanish contingent at Stamford Bridge, joining Fernando Torres and medical staff Ivan Ortega and Paco Biosca, with Juan Manuel Mata also expected to sign imminently.

'It's great news for me,' he said when asked about the prospect of 23-year-old Mata joining him in SW6. 'He is a wonderful player and I think he can contribute a lot to the team if this goes through.

'I'm really grateful to both Fernando Torres and [sports therapist] Ivan. This is a huge club, and it can be intimidating when you arrive somewhere new but these people have helped me a great deal with different issues like looking for a house and I am obviously incredible grateful to them.'

Romeu takes the number six jersey, which has been free since Ricardo Carvalho departed for Real Madrid last summer, and is in contention to appear against Norwich City this weekend.