Southampton’s Theo Walcott has raved about the quality of club teammate Romeo Lavia, who’s reportedly a transfer target for Chelsea this month.

Lavia, 19, has been one of the shining lights so far this season for a Southampton side rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table.

The Belgian defensive midfielder moved to St Mary’s in the summer and is making a big impression during his full debut season at first-team level.

90min claimed earlier in January that Chelsea are reigniting interest in signing Lavia. They say it could cost as much as £50million for the Saints to sell him, though.

Southampton v Manchester City - Carabao Cup Quarter Final
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Walcott is a massive admirer of Southampton’s teenage talent. In particular, he thinks the youngster is so mature for someone his age.

“I’m a big fan [of Lavia],” Walcott told talkSPORT.

“He’s obviously had a few injuries but he’s coming back. He’s young, he’s 18/19 when he’s off the field but 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. It’s very interesting to see, watching him from the stands, obviously it looks so easy from the stands, it always does.

“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’.

“It’s a good sign and hopefully we can keep him fit. They are all learning, but in particular he’s learning quicker than normal I would say.”

Fulham FC v Southampton FC - Premier League
Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images

Chelsea’s midfield suffered another injury setback in the 2-1 defeat to Fulham, losing Denis Zakaria early into the second-half.

There’s no official update yet on when the Switzerland international will be available again, but it was another reminder of how bad the club’s injury luck has been this season.

The recent Chelsea performances have lead to fans crying out for a new addition in the centre of the park.

Lavia, who is still very inexperienced at the top level, is showing in Southampton colours he can put himself about in a great way in Premier League matches.

The all-action central midfielder may be a really exciting target for Chelsea, but could he walk into the XI at a difficult time and lift the side?

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