ORIOL Romeu has hailed midfield partner a “great player” and another representation of Saints’ successful recruitment system.

Lemina has had an impressive start to life in the Premier League, turning out another top display in the 1-0 defeat to Manchester United after a man-of-the-match performance at Crystal Palace the week before.

The Gabon international, who is Saints’ record signing after joining for £16m from Juventus last month, is notable for his combative style and quality on the ball.

Romeu said: “He’s been very good. He’s a great signing. He’s a very strong player. He helps the team a lot. He’s defensively strong and also can drive forward and create chances.

“It’s very good to have him, so hopefully we can keep helping him and he can get better. Then, together, we can make a stronger team.”

Romeu, who celebrated his 26th birthday on Sunday, has been a revelation since joining from Chelsea for £5m in 2015.

It’s a similar path that many of Saints’ new recruits have taken in recent years, moving from big clubs where they may not have been getting regular game time.

The same can be said for Lemina, 24, who was not considered a first choice at Juve but is fast becoming a popular choice at St Mary’s.

“He’s coming from a big club, we know he’s got strong qualities and he has a good level,” Romeu said.

“That’s what the club are doing and they’re trying to find the right talents and they’re doing well.

“Mario was playing in Italy but I hadn’t seen him play before now. I’m surprised the way he is and he’s a great player.”

Lemina, along with fellow summer signing Wesley Hoedt, the £15m centre-back from Lazio, are starting to settle in to Mauricio Pellegrino’s side this season.

The second-half performance against United was excellent despite Saints not being able to score and Romeu revealed it shows that Pellegrino’s men are beginning to click.

“With the games and weeks I think feelings get better and we start to know each other more,” he said.

“We’ve got new signings like Wesley and Mario who look very good already and I’m sure they’ll get even better so it’s just a matter of keep learning and keep getting better.”

Romelu Lukaku’s goal in the 20th minute was the difference at St Mary’s as United kept the chase up at the top of the Premier League.

Romeu insists Saints can be proud of their efforts in defeat, because of the second half performance.

“In the second half we played the same football we did away at Crystal Palace,” he said.

“It’s just the way, what we say when we’re finished. We can be proud of what we did today because we fought against a great team.

“We know in this league anyone can beat anyone but we did a great job and that’s what we have to take from this.”

The midfielder says Saints must take the display in the second half display to Stoke.

He said: “If we go to Stoke now and lose it will mean nothing. It will mean nothing so taking three points next week is massively important.”