SAINTS midfielder Oriol Romeu penned a fresh two-and-a-half year contract at the club and insisted: “It does really feel like home.”

The Spanish star has been rewarded after a stellar start to the campaign at St Mary’s, which has helped Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men go fourth in the Premier League table.

Romeu had entered the final season of his previous deal, but the 29-year-old has now extended his commitment at Saints until at least the summer of 2023.

A graduate of the Barcelona academy, Romeu is now into his sixth season at Saints, having signed from Chelsea for £5million in 2015.

He has since gone on to make 198 appearances for the club, scoring six goals and providing two assists.

Speaking about his new deal, Ulldecona-born Romeu said: “Staying here for longer is just what I wanted and I’m so happy and so pleased to get to this point.

“It’s been six years now and has been a long journey, but I’m very excited and haven’t felt as good as I’m feeling right now, so I want to keep this momentum going as long as possible.

“It does really feel like home. I know everyone around now and they also know me.

“It’s great to commit to the club for longer and I’m very happy they also insisted on me staying.

“I’ve always tried to help the team the best I can and that’s paid off. The feelings right now are very good and we all feel very optimistic, and we must carry on like this.”

As well as helping Saints to their impressive league position, Romeu opened his goal account this season in a 2-0 home victory over West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League last month.

His rasping volley gave boss Hasenhuttl his first home victory of the campaign.

Romeu has built a fine partnership alongside in-form skipper James Ward-Prowse in the heart of Saints’ midfield.

Speaking to the Daily Echo about the Spaniard, Ward-Prowse said: “It’s great to play with Ori because for me he’s a great player.

“He wears his heart on his sleeve and he works incredibly hard. To have him next to me in the middle is really inspiring and hopefully we can continue a good partnership.

“I’ve known Ori for a long time, we’ve played a lot together but I think the more you play with somebody you react well to their movements and the way that we think.

“I think it’s a really good partnership that we’re developing and hopefully it can continue.”