Southampton legend Benali: No surprise Chelsea tried for Lavia

Southampton legend Francis Benali is happy they rejected Chelsea’s attempt for Romeo Lavia last month.

After just five Premier League appearances and a goal in the victory over Chelsea, Todd Boehly and the Stamford Bridge hierarchy were fully convinced of his potential.

Despite Lavia being injured since and expected to return in October, a £50m proposal was rejected by Saints – although Benali admits these situations are likely dilemmas.

“Never a dull moment at Chelsea. You look at the money they spent and they money they’ve had to spend, it’s a good thing for the league,” Benali told Southampton International Boat Show.

“It was interesting that a late bid came in for Romeo Lavia, however, from what I’ve seen from him and the other young players, it doesn’t surprise me that someone like Chelsea has expressed interest.”

The 389-appearance hero added: “If the young players continue to impress and perform as they have done so far, there is bound to be interest from other clubs, which is going to be tough for Southampton.

“It causes a dilemma for the club in how they manage and deal with that, as they’re talented players.”