Lemina Claims That His Stay At Saints Was A Two Year Plan
Wednesday, 10th Jul 2019 12:45
Mario Lemina has outlined his desire to leave the club, revealing that this was all part of the grand scheme agreed with the club
Mario Lemina is allegedly attracting interest from both Manchester United and Arsenal although most Saints supporters would struggle to see why he would interest them given his limited contribution to the club in his two seasons so far.
But the player himself has talked to the media about why he wants to leave claiming that this was all part of his plan.
Speaking in an interview with France Football he said.
"I am physically preparing myself at the training centre, with a few other players including Charlie Austin and Jordy Clasie.
"I did not accompany the team in training in agreement with the coach. He wants to build his group with the players who want to stay at the club, so he left me out.
"As early as last year, I had set my conditions: I wanted to go elsewhere this summer.
"I had just decided to go to Southampton for two years, and see if I could take another step.
"We had agreed with the sports director. The injury arrived late December, it slowed me down, it’s a shame, but I do not want to go further with Southampton.
"I prefer that we stay on good terms, faithful to what we said."
given the fact he has made his desire to leave public, he admitted: "there is no turning back".
Lemina added: "I’m not afraid, I made a choice and I take it to the end.
"I stand by my plan, I decided to tell the leaders that I wanted to leave, there is no turning back.
"There is a risk, of course, but I know what I’m capable of, I’m 100 per cent and I’m going to prove that I can get back to my best.
"Some clubs may be more cautious, but they already know me. Today, I am fully recovered, I worked a lot. I am ready to move on."
"I aspire to play in the biggest clubs, now we will see what is proposed.
"I had chosen to leave Juventus for Southampton to have more playing time, I got it.
"I made a good impression in England, I had good returns at a certain time, so I hope clubs will not have a short memory."
So there you have it, Mario Lemina's career plan, personally I don't have a problem with this, he is being honest and not leading us on, indeed this is the structure that the club are having to follow out of neccessity and it has been since the 1960's, for us the path isn't being able to afford to pay the World's best players it has always been about developing them.
We hope that we can buy them at a reasonable price and then profit from their success, sell them on, reinvest and move onwards.
This has worked well over the past 5 or so years aside from a blip over the past couple of seasons and that has to be expected, no club can maintain relative success at whatever level season in season out even Manchester City.
Indeed if we are not selling players then our own strategy is not working, a few years ago some of our fans asked why we were selling when the likes of Stoke and West Brom seemed to keep their players, now we know the answer, they didn't have any players anyone wants.
We succeed by constantly buying and selling and sadly we have no other choice.
Mario Lemina is just a part of that structure and sadly hasn't played the part that we hoped that he would, how much of what he is claiming now is actually true is open for debate.
For a player who will turn 26 in September so far he has failed to establish himself at the very top level, one season for LOrient in France got him a transfer to Olympique Marseille for 4 million euros,.
There he played 41 times in two years leading to a loan move to Juventus who then excercised their option to buy at 9.5 million euros.
Two seasons at Juve followed but he was a bit part player, he had quality but could never find the consistency to be a nailed on first choice, he therefore was happy to move to Saints for around £15 million two years ago looking for more game time.
Injury meant that he never reached the levels that he looked like he could achieve, but it wasn't just injury, as much as he was capable of some outstanding performances he struggled for consistency and although you won't find many Saints fans with a bad word to say about his quality, we all knew that there was a fatal flaw somewhere.
That flaw means that perhaps he will never truly establish himself at the highest level, like at his previous clubs to Saints he may well again be a fringe player, indeed even at St Mary's he was never truly nailed on first choice due to that consistency and players like Pierre Emile Hojbjerg and James Ward Prowse have leapfrogged him in the pecking order.
You have the feeling that Saints are happy to let him go for several reasons, firstly he tended to loom good against average opposition and in both his first and second seasons, he was out injured when we won games and pulled clear of relegation trouble, he shone in mediocre games, but less frequently in the tougher matches or when it mattered.
Secondly that being the case his departure would not detract from the squad, the players who made the second half of the season end on a high note will still be there and with the desire to play that Lemina clearly hasn't got, with six options for three central midfield positions, he will not be a loss, at least not on his contribution to the club so far.
Thirdly we need to raise transfer fee and slash wages, Lemina if far from the bottom of the list of preferred departures.
So perhaps he knows his place in the game and that is of not staying anywhere too long, maintaining a reputation and moving on, it is strange that both Manchester United and Arsenal are supposedly interested, but would he be anymore than a squad player at either of them, I would suggest not.
If Lemina was leaving for £18 million to say Villareal or Fiorentina, I would suggest that most Saints fans would not be too bothered, they would be pleased to see a return on the investment but suddenly we seem to think we are missing out if he goes to United, what do they know that we do not.
Good luck to Mario Lemina, if we get our money back and now as a club we will insist on that, the regime has changed and there is now a new air of confidence in what we are doing about the place and we are not being pushed around by either players or other clubs, then we will not miss him as much as others.
So far we have received no bids suggesting that United and Arsenal are rumours put around by his agent, Saints won't be too bothered anything that puts the price up,
Photo: Action Images
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