10 January Transfers Everyone Wants To See: #6 Mario Lemina

Mario Lemina of Southampton during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Southampton FC at Goodison Park on August 18, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.  (Aug. 17, 2018 - Source: Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe)

Mario Lemina of Southampton during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Southampton FC at Goodison Park on August 18, 2018 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

(Aug. 17, 2018 - Source: Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe)

No matter how good some players are, football players or otherwise – they kind of need a bigger turf or neighbourhood to show that they belong, to prove that they have the “it” factor. Such is the story of some of the most exciting professional footballers in the game today, they can only become as big as the club they play for and we have a few names that many would want to see move to other pastures. Some have been rumoured away from their clubs and some haven’t but sooner rather than later, transfers are inevitable. The sixth one is actually my personal favourite.

We have repeatedly featured Gabonese international Mario Lemina, here on FirstTouch, more so on his unexploited potential at the Saints. The 25-year-old central midfielder joined EPL side, Southampton for what was actually a club record fee of £15.4 million in the summer of 2017 from Italian Serie A giants, Juventus. Lemina is a huge physical presence in the Southampton midfield, astute in his dealings, technically gifted and possessing a rare ability to slow down or increase the tempo of the game at will. He really can be a real conductor of the midfield orchestra but has quite recently been reduced to only breaking up attacks as Southampton is continually in the fight to stay alive and relevant in the Premier League. Mario is most certainly becoming a hidden gem, lacking the exposure to shine or the specialist to cut it to perfection as a result of the Saints’ challenges. His talent is basically suffocating and a move away could be the needed right of way, one that am overly excited about. PSG’s has already shown interest in getting the Gabonese to Parc de Princes as a possible replacement to the departing Adrien Rabiot. A reported £30 million bid is being lined up and you one cannot possibly belittle the rumour given the Parisians shockingly captured another African star, Eric Maxim Choupo Moting from relegated Stoke City in the summer. Should the move materialise, a new lease of life to Lemina could be one that puts him in a position of similar dominance to his compatriot, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but in a slightly different position.

Mario is most certainly becoming a hidden gem, lacking the exposure to shine or the specialist to cut it to perfection as a result of the Saints’ challenges. His talent is basically suffocating and a move away could be the needed right of way, one that am overly excited about.
— Dennis Takaendesa, FirstTouch Africa