Pep Guardiola hints that Man City could launch move for ‘exceptional’ wonderkid ahead of Arsenal
| Last updated
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has praised the impact that Romeo Lavia has had since joining Southampton - fuelling speculation that last season's Premier League champions may try to sign him next summer.
Lavia did not make his Premier League debut for City before leaving, but did make two appearances in cup competitions.
That lack of experience did not faze Southampton, with the midfielder fitting into their transfer strategy of signing promising, up-and-coming players.
With that strategy, of course, comes some risk, and while several of the club's new signings have yet to show their true potential for various reasons, Lavia has been one of the side's key players when available this term.
However, if Ruben Selles' side get relegated this season, the Saints may have to sell one of their prized assets in a cut-price deal.
Guardiola praises Lavia
City could push Southampton one step closer to the drop on Saturday, when the two sides face off at the St Mary's Stadium.
Speaking before the game, Guardiola was full of praise for Lavia, and explained why City felt they had to sell the young midfielder.
He explained (quotes via City's official website): "I'm really impressed with what Romeo has done [at Southampton], and is doing. We have an incredible opinion of him.
"We thought to keep him, but thought we couldn't give him enough minutes like he has at Southampton."
Lavia was also lauded for his maturity by ex-Arsenal star and current Southampton forward Theo Walcott back in January.
Speaking to talkSPORT, the 31-year-old said: "When he's on the field, it's mad. It's like he's played over 200 games in the Premier League, that's how much I rate him.
"You probably know that watching us, 'He should make that run or make that pass'. It's not as straightforward as that but when I watch him, I'm like, 'You look way above your age right now'."