More Fine Words From Lemina As Rumour Mill Cranks Up !
Friday, 3rd Jul 2020 09:28
Mario Lemina is being linked with a move to several clubs on the Continent, but will he drop his salary for a permanent move ? I think we all know the answer to that question.
Mario Lemina is one of a number of Saints players on high wages but the club are unable to sell them due to the drop that these players would need to take in their money to move to another club on a permanent basis.
It is not just high earners that find themselves in this position, some of the home grown players such as Harrison Reed are also in this bracket although on a smaller scale than the likes of Lemina.
Most of those, Fraser Forster, Guido Carrillo, Moi Elyounoussi, Wesley Hoedt, to name but 4 find themselves like Reed caught in limbo, not being able to be able to afford to take a pay cut which would be half or more of the salary at St Mary's and would equate to £4-5 million pounds with 3 years left on their deals . In truth that does not make them particularly greedy, just victims of circumstance, these players have been willing to play for Saints, but find themselves out of the picture under Ralph Hasenhuttl.
But Mario Lemina who is now being reported as "attracting interest from abroad" is a different kettle of fish.
Initially when he signed he looked a coup, a Juventus player who had appeared in a few months earlier in the Champions League final.
But there was a veneer about Lemina, from the very start what was under the surface was not what you saw above it.
A look at his career at Juve showed only 15 starts in two seasons, he was a squad player used mainly off the bench in Serie A and indeed the Champions League.
That had been the case at his previous club Marseille as well, something was not quite right here.
His initial performances were good and he could play, but it became clear that he played when he felt like it, after each good game the standards would drop over the next couple and then he would have another good game and the process would be repeated.
He certainly wasn't the midfield general that we thought we were signing, he seemed to have no appetite for a fight, in games where we could dominate he would bully and play well, when the chips were down he was found wanting., you felt in a tough situation Lemina was not the man you wanted, that was of course if he was availabe.
Rumours of his off the field lifestyle emerged, he hit the national press when he received a UK record £96,425, motoring fine, this figure said to be 150% of his weekly wage at Saints, beating none other than Ant McPartlin of Ant & Dec fame in doing so.
This was reduced down to just £2,301, after it emerged that the court responsible for determining the punishment made an error, but it also emerged that this was far from his first offence, Lemina wasalso handed 18 points on top of the 21 already on his driving licence , with his Mercedes having previously been caught breaking the speed limit on three occasions.
But he wasn't even man enough to own up, he admitted three counts of failing to identify the driver of a car after claiming that his brother or cousin may have been driving his car when the offences were committed rather than speeding, his car being caught doing on the M3.
The rumour mill was alleging that his lifestyle wasn't pleasing the Saints management and what annoyed them more was that he was involving some of the younger more impressionable players on the fringes of the first team.
So with Lemina we wanted him out and away from the club !
But with a salary of over £60,000 he wasn't going anywhere permanently, Galatasaray were interested and still supposedly are in buying him permanently but like Celtic the Turkish club are giants in their own Country but have the spending power not much better than a Championship club.
Lemina said all the right things as Galatasaray expressed interest in making the loan permanent :
“Playing for Galatasaray makes me very happy. Every day, I receive good messages from the fans. I love them. I’m enjoying playing for them.
“Do I want to stay? There’s no need to ask that question, everything is clear from my end.
“I want to be remembered as one of Galatasaray’s greatest players.
“Of course, I joined the club on a loan deal, but I hope it won’t continue like this.”
But those words are hollow, the Turkish club could afford to pay him barely half of his wages and with two years left on his deal is he willing to wave good bye to over £3 million in wages at St Mary's plus lucrative bonus's he is still entitled to whilst he remains on Saints books ? I will leave you to answer that.
So it seems now Lemina and his agent are at a crossroads and he is talking up his footballing desires to try and attract attention, but ultimately unless someone is willing to pay an overpriced salary he is going nowhere permanently.
The truth is most clubs have now seen through the veneer, they know that they are getting a flawed character, in 8 seasons since making his debut for first club L'Orient in France he has started just 106 League games over 5 different clubs, he is not a consistent player, nor is he one that hangs around much.
Sadly he is a very talented player, some of the games he played for Saints were immense, but in the main they weren't and a pattern emerged, the good games were mostly against poorer opposition, never against the top clubs.
As mentioned before our other players who have been out on loan have found themselves victims of circumstance, none of them gave less than 100% when they played for the club, it just didn't work out, some are judged harshly like Guido Carrillo, but it should be noted that he played in just about our worst spell in the last 15 years and he was no better or worse than those around him, some of whom are now being courted by other clubs.
So expect to hear some great words from Mario Lemina, but don't expect anything different from what has gone on in his career before, Saints would love to get him off the books but that is unlikely this summer and I think he will again be out on loan for the season.
There is said to be interest from the Continent according to the press, but read the stories the person telling them that is Lemina himself.
Photo: Action Images
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