has sent a message of congratulations to after his compatriot completed his transfer from Southampton to .
amid rival interest from Liverpool.
Chelsea sealed the acquisition of Lavia for a reported £53million, possibly rising to £58m, taking their total number of first-team acquisitions this summer to eight.
The 19-year-old, who has played just 29 times in the Premier League, has signed a seven-year deal having made clear earlier this week his desire to move to Stamford Bridge over Liverpool, who also had a bid accepted.
Chelsea have now spent more than £350m during this transfer window once performance-related add-ons are taken into account, though that has been significantly offset by fees received for player sales.
Lavia told the club’s website: ‘I can’t wait to meet all my new team-mates and build a chemistry together to achieve great things together.”
Lavia, who made his Belgium debut in a friendly win against Germany in March, will likely compete with Enzo Fernandez and fellow new-signing Moises Caicedo – the two most expensive players in English transfer history – for a starting place in Mauricio Pochettino’s midfield.
Chelsea broke that record for the second time in eight months on Monday with the capture of Caicedo from Brighton for an initial £100m, possibly rising to £115, eclipsing the £106m they paid Benfica for Fernandez in January.
Co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley said: ‘We are very pleased to welcome Romeo to Chelsea.
‘He demonstrated his quality in the Premier League last season at Southampton, showing maturity despite his young age, and is a player we have monitored for some time.’
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