Is Lemina's Big Club Move Just A Pipe Dream
Friday, 12th Jul 2019 08:16
Mario Lemina is being linked with both Manchester United & Arsenal, but is there actually any truth in these rumours ?
One thing that cannot be in doubt is that Mario Lemina wants to leave Southampton Football Club, in the past week or so he has suddenly become very prominent in the press saying one thing or another with the latest being that a two year stay at St mary's was always part of his plans.
Whilst there is every likelihood that this is the case, after all he hasn't stayed anywhere that long during a career that at 26 in September has never really seen him a bolted on first choice anywhere as only 87 League starts, 38 of those at Saints plus another 43 as sub testify.
Since making his League debut in January 2013 for Lorient he was a squad player both at Olympique Marseille and Juventus till he joined Saints in August 2017 , he was on the radar of a few clubs, but not really of any top sides, his career path was either stay as a squad player or try to get a regular game elsewhere and Saints were as good a club as any that where interested in them back then.
His stock was high when he joined Saints he had just played in a Champions league final, although that sounds a lot better than the reality, his 12 minutes on the pitch came at a time when Juve where already 3-1 down to Real Madrid on their way to a 4-1 defeat, the game was all but over.
So if Manchester United or Arsenal are interested in Lemina what evidence is leading them to believe that he is the man for a job in their squads ?
It certainly isn't his form for Saints, in two seasons he has started only half the games he could have and missed big chunks of the season through injury, this is no Morgan Schneiderlin scenario, a player at the top of his game and has been for several seasons,whilst he has undoubted talent he did not show it enough times at St Mary's to truly make him indispensable, he has been a bit part player who had played well when the team has been on top but not around when the chips are down.
Indeed it seems that Saints themselves are not that unhappy to see the back of him.
Rumours surfaced last season about his lifestyle choices including the incident last September when he couldn't remember who was driving his car when it was caught speeding.
A few weeks ago most Saints fans would not have been that bothered either, but the United & Arsenal rumours are making some get nervous that if we sell him he will go on to be a massive success and we will have missed out.
Certainly the rumours of United & Arsenal do not seem to be coming from either club, the Manchester Evening News claim that United are not interested and have told them that they feel their name is being used to try and generate interest in the player and set up an auction, although it is not clear whether they feel it is Saints or the agent doing that.
United will know though that their fans will not be impressed by Paul Pogba potentially being replaced by Lemina and if he did go to Old Trafford he would likely be a squad player not first choice.
The players outburts lately perhaps point to why he will be leaving St Mary's, he spent most of the second half of last season unavailable to Ralph Hasenhuttl supposedly with a stomach injury and his injury record at Saints is not going to aid his sale to any club.
United like to keep things under the radar, they do not like big outbursts from their own players let alone those that have not even signed for them yet.
If Lemina truly had interest from them or indeed any club he would have been wise to keep quiet and let things run their course, but he has not done that suggesting that things are not running smoothly between him and his current club.
Saints have done nothing wrong, they have a player with three years left on his contract, they know that in today's game the business is all done behind the clubs backs by the agents, if United wanted Lemina the bid would be in.
So it seems that just as the Manchester Evening News is stating, both the player and his agent are seemingly trying to drum up interest and try to hook a big club, Saints just have to sit back and let them do just that.
The fact that Lemina has been left at home this week and not travelled to Austria for the training camp seems to evidence there is a rift, but Saints are playing it just right, sit back and let things take their course, we have plenty of options in the centre of midfield, we need money in for new signings, over the past couple of seasons Lemina's contributions to the club have been far less than most of his rivals for the starting line up, he in his own mind might see himself as a big star, but truth is he is dispensable to even Saints let alone Manchester United.
Photo: Action Images
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