Watford Interested In Taking Mario Lemina From Southampton
Thursday, 1st Jul 2021 13:39
Media reports are saying that Saints have turned down a swap deal involving estranged midfielder Mario Lemina and an unnamed Watford player, but that their overtures were turned down, the question is will they be back.
It has been over two years since Mario Lemina's last appearance is a Saints shirt and his two season's out on loan have not exactly been overflowing with appearances, at Galatasaray in 2019/20 he started just 19 Turkish Super Lig games, he came on as a sub on another occasion and spent 11 games either injured or suspended.
At Fulham it was a similar story, out of 36 Premier League games he could have played aside from the two when he could not play against Saints, he started again just 19, came on as a sub in another 9, 2 games sat on the bench without coming on and another 6 injured.
In fact very similar to his two seasons at St Mary's after signing a five year contract, just 20 starts in 38 games and in his second season just 18 starts.
A pattern has emerged over those 4 seasons, that of a player who manages to start only around 1/2 the League games, spends about 40% either injured or suspended and 10% where he is on the bench, not exactly a player you can rely on week in week out.
With a year left Saints would like to be shot of him and they hope that they can perhaps recoup something of the £14 million they paid 4 years ago and also get his wages off the books at the same time.
His value now has dropped to around half of that fee paid, but with a year left on his contract Saints would take less and would look to get £5-7 million this summer if they could.
They did of course recoup some of that in loan fees with Galatasaray paying just under a million and Fulham around £2 million, so it has not been as big a disaster as it looks so far, as long as they can get back something this summer.
Watford seem keen on the player, but they came offering only a swap player, who that player was or whether we had a choice is unclear, but either way it did not appeal to Saints.
It is the Italian media who have broken the news, Calciomercato.it say Lemina has ‘entered the radar’ of Watford owners, the Pozzo family, who also run Udinese and the suggestion is that it is the owners who want to buy him rather than the manager.
Whether the deal is now dead in the water or if Watford will come back with a cash deal is unclear, but it seems that a player worth only £6 million is not seen as a good addition to the squad, but that amount in cash would be a good down payment on a player that the club would really like to sign.
As the song goes, Mario Lemina is a class midfielder, but the stats tell us that he only shows it when he feels like it.
Photo: Action Images
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