Roméo Lavia (born 6 January 2004) is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Premier League club Chelsea and the Belgium national team.

Roméo Lavia
Personal information
Date of birth (2004-01-06) 6 January 2004 (age 20)[1]
Place of birth Brussels, Belgium
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)[1]
Position(s) Defensive midfielder
Team information
Current team
Number 45
Youth career
0000–2012 S.C. Woluwe
2012–2020 Anderlecht
2020–2021 Manchester City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2021–2022 Manchester City 0 (0)
2022–2023 Southampton 29 (1)
2023– Chelsea 1 (0)
International career
2019 Belgium U15 1 (0)
2019 Belgium U16 1 (1)
2021–2022 Belgium U19 10 (0)
2022– Belgium U21 1 (0)
2023– Belgium 1 (0)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 21:40, 27 December 2023 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 28 March 2023

A product of Anderlecht's academy, he made his professional debut for Premier League side Manchester City in 2021, before being signed by Southampton in 2022. After Southampton's relegation in 2023, he was signed by Chelsea for £53 million.

A Belgium youth international, Lavia made his debut for the senior team in 2023.

Club career




Lavia is a youth product of the Belgian club Anderlecht. He arrived at eight years old at their training centre in Neerpede nearby Brussels.

At a local international youth tournament for players under the age of 15, he got noticed for the first time by Pep Guardiola. The Spanish trainer was there on invitation of his Manchester City player Kevin De Bruyne who is co-organiser of this tournament that also bears his name, the KDB Cup.[2]

Manchester City


At the age of sixteen, Lavia left Anderlecht for Manchester City in the summer of 2020, and signed his first professional contract. He joined the U18s where he quickly stood out. In November that year, after only eleven appearances, Lavia was promoted to the U23 squad. Together with the EDS team, the Belgian youngster won the Premier League 2 championship in April 2021 and was voted player of the season.[3]

From the summer of 2021, Lavia started training with the first-team. He earned a selection into squad of the Citizens to play the 2021–22 UEFA Champions League. Lavia made his professional debut at the age of seventeen on 21 September 2021, in the third round of the 2021–22 EFL Cup against Wycombe Wanderers, where he got a yellow card.[4]



On 6 July 2022, Lavia joined Southampton and signed a five-year contract.[5] Although the fee was officially undisclosed, it was reported by BBC Sport to be worth an initial £10.5 million, plus £3.5 million in add-ons.[6] It was also reported that the terms of the deal included a £40 million buy-back clause and a 20% sell-on clause for Manchester City.[7]

On 6 August 2022, Lavia made his debut in a 4–1 loss away to Tottenham Hotspur.[8] He scored his first goal on 30 August 2022 in the Saints' 2–1 win over Chelsea, becoming the first player born in 2004 to score in the Premier League.[9] Southampton finished the season at the bottom of the Premier League table, resulting in relegation to the EFL Championship for the 2023–24 season.[10] However, Lavia led all Premier League players under 21 years in combined tackles, interceptions and blocked shots in the 2022–23 season.[11] He was the only teenager in the top flight to have made more than 50 tackles, while his 7.8 ball recoveries per 90 minutes placed him in the top 15 players in the league.[12]



On 18 August 2023, Lavia joined Chelsea,[13] signing a seven-year contract, for a reported initial fee of £53 million plus add-ons.[14] Lavia rejected an offer from Liverpool, as reportedly he felt the club "played with him" and didn't consider him a priority signing but rather "second choice".[15] Before matching Chelsea's offer, Liverpool submitted three bids for the player, but they were rejected by Southampton as they didn't reach their valuation of the player.[16]

Due to the protracted transfer saga, Lavia was lagging behind his teammates in terms of conditioning, as manager Mauricio Pochettino stated that the midfielder "needs a few weeks to be ready to be involved with the team".[17] However, in early September, a muscle injury prevented Lavia making his debut for the new club.[18] While recovering, Lavia suffered another injury on his ankle which kept him sidelined for several weeks.[19]

Lavia made his Chelsea debut on 27 December 2023, coming on as a substitute during a 2–1 Premier League home win over Crystal Palace.[20] Pochettino later confirmed that he injured his thigh during the match.[21] On 27 March 2024, Chelsea confirmed that Lavia would miss the remainder of the season.[22]

International career


Despite being born in Belgium, Lavia's father is Ghanaian and his mother is Congolese.[23] In 2019, he played one official game for the Belgium U15 youth team and also one for the Belgium U16 in which he scored once.[24]

On 17 March 2023, he received his first call-up to the Belgian senior national team by manager Domenico Tedesco, for the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying match against Sweden and the friendly against Germany.[25][26] On 28 March, Lavia made his debut for Belgium as a substitute in the 3–2 win against Germany.[27]

Style of play


Lavia is a defensive midfielder. According to Anderlecht's head of academy Jean Kindermans, Lavia's best position is a deep-lying playmaker, as "he can deliver passes and is always calm on the ball".[28] Lavia stated that his inspirations are Barcelona player Sergio Busquets and his former Man City teammate Fernandinho.

Lavia visibly expresses himself to be comfortable when recovering the ball, making use of the intense pressing using intelligence, tenacity, along with pace, and when he makes line-breaking deep passes.[29] He is also adept at driving forward with the ball once he regains possession, which makes him extremely effective on the counterattack.[30] Lavia's dribbling ability enables him to break lines of defensive pressure, and he is also lauded for his awareness and reading of the game.[31] Lavia is amongst the most accurate midfielders in the Premier League, with an accuracy-adjusted pass completion rate of 84% in the 2022–23 season, which had him tied for fifth best in his position.[32] Former Southampton teammate Oriol Romeu, referring to Lavia, said that "if you’re that young and playing that well, you’re going to be special".[28]

Career statistics



As of match played 27 December 2023
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup EFL Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Manchester City U21 2020–21 2[a] 0 2 0
2021–22 2[a] 0 2 0
Total 4 0 4 0
Manchester City 2021–22[33] Premier League 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 0
Southampton 2022–23[34] Premier League 29 1 2 0 3 0 34 1
Chelsea 2023–24[35] Premier League 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Career total 30 1 3 0 4 0 0 0 4 0 41 1
  1. ^ a b Appearance(s) in EFL Trophy


As of match played 28 March 2023[36]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Belgium 2023 1 0
Total 1 0



Manchester City U23


  1. ^ a b "Roméo Lavia". Premier League. Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  2. ^ "Romeo Lavia: Man City wonderkid aiming to follow in Fernandinho's footsteps |". Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  3. ^ Railston, Steven (3 September 2021). "Who is Romeo Lavia? Profile of Man City's young Champions League squad addition". Manchester Evening News.
  4. ^ "Manchester City v Wycombe Wanderers". BBC Sport. Retrieved 21 September 2021.
  5. ^ "Saints swoop for Lavia". Southampton FC. 6 July 2022. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  6. ^ Minay, Mike (6 July 2022). "Romeo Lavia: Southampton sign 18-year-old from Manchester City for £10.5m". BBC Sport. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  7. ^ Romano, Fabrizio (6 July 2022). "Southampton close to buying Rangers' Joe Aribo after Roméo Lavia signs". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  8. ^ "Confident Tottenham recover to thrash Southampton". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  9. ^ Bysouth, Alex (30 August 2022). "Southampton 2–1 Chelsea". BBC Sport. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  10. ^ "Southampton relegated after defeat to Fulham". Retrieved 14 August 2023.
  11. ^ Sheth, Darmesh (7 August 2023). "Liverpool transfer news: Latest Romeo Lavia bid rejected as Southampton hold out for £50m". Sky Sports.
  12. ^ Tanswell, Jacob (25 May 2023). "Southampton's player of the season: Romeo Lavia". The Athletic.
  13. ^ "Lavia joins Chelsea". Chelsea FC. 18 August 2023. Retrieved 18 August 2023.
  14. ^ "Romeo Lavia: Chelsea sign Belgium midfielder from Southampton in £58m deal". BBC Sport. 18 August 2023. Retrieved 18 August 2023.
  15. ^ Durkan, Joanna (16 August 2023). "Southampton confirm they accepted LFC's Lavia bid – but player felt like '2nd choice'". This is Anfield. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  16. ^ Pierce, James (7 August 2023). "Liverpool have third bid for Romeo Lavia rejected by Southampton". The Athletic. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  17. ^ "Pochettino confirms Caicedo can start but Lavia and Mudryk will miss Luton". Chelsea F.C. 24 August 2023. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  18. ^ O'Connor-Simpson, Matt (9 September 2023). "Chelsea cannot catch a break! £58m summer-signing Romeo Lavia suffers 'muscle tear' as Blues injury crisis deepens". GOAL. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  19. ^ Jones, Oliver (19 September 2023). "Chelsea star Romeo Lavia dealt further 'serious' setback amid injury return doubts". Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  20. ^ Steinberg, Jacob (27 December 2023). "Chelsea find way past Crystal Palace thanks to Noni Madueke's late penalty". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  21. ^ Kinsella, Nizaar (29 December 2023). "Chelsea suffer fresh double injury blow with Mykhailo Mudryk and Romeo Lavia doubts for Luton".
  22. ^ "Romeo Lavia injury update". Chelsea FC. 27 March 2024. Retrieved 21 May 2024.
  23. ^ "Ghana's Romeo Lavia opens up on Manchester City move".[dead link]
  24. ^ "Royal Belgian FA". Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  25. ^ "Belgium coach Tedesco wields the axe for Euro qualifiers". Reuters. 17 March 2023. Retrieved 17 March 2023.
  26. ^ "Domenico Tedesco announces his first selection". Royal Belgian Football Association. 17 March 2023. Retrieved 19 March 2023.
  27. ^ "Lavia makes Belgium senior debut". Southampton F.C. 28 March 2023.
  28. ^ a b Tanswell, Jacob (13 June 2023). "When Romeo met Pep: The story of Lavia, Guardiola and a trip to Belgium". The Athletic. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  29. ^ Kulig, Jacek (4 July 2021). "Analysis: Why Romeo Lavia is turning heads at Manchester City by The American Cityzen". Football Talent Scout. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  30. ^ Holden, Connor (4 August 2023). "Romeo Lavia: What Makes the Teenage Midfielder Such a Special Talent?". Breaking The Lines. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  31. ^ Seiffedine, Marcel (6 July 2022). "Romeo Lavia: A young gem with a chance to display his talent on the biggest stage – scout report". Total Football Analysis. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  32. ^ Ellis, Adam (16 May 2023). "Romeo Lavia: The kind of No.6 any top-five club would dream of having?". Pro Football Focus. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  33. ^ "Games played by Roméo Lavia in 2021/2022". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 22 September 2021.
  34. ^ "Games played by Roméo Lavia in 2022/2023". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
  35. ^ "Games played by Roméo Lavia in 2023/2024". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 29 December 2023.
  36. ^ "Lavia, Roméo". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmermann. Retrieved 14 July 2023.


  1. ^ "Romeo Lavia injury update". Retrieved 28 March 2024.