Monday, March 20, 2023

Everton Interested In This Serie A Star: But Koeman Faces A Fight To Land Him

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

It seems like any possibility of Everton landing their long-term target, Mario Lemina, of Juventus is eluding them with every passing week. Already Arsenal’s interest in the player has slashed the odds of the player arriving at Goodison Park, and now with another Premier League side Watford joining the chase as per reports, things look too complicated.

The need for a proper central midfielder is one of every top club’s priority list this summer and Lemina’s irregular first team action with the Serie A side has only encouraged all. The Gabon international is known for his phenomenal work rate in the middle of the park and aggressive approach.

While Everton don’t possess one of the weakest midfield in the Premier League, their interest in the 23-year-old indicates that few departures are in order. With their home-grown star, Ross Barkley, already seeking stardom elsewhere, Ronald Koeman has wasted no time in bringing in AFC Ajax’s Davy Klaassen.

And with Tom Cleverley’s loan deal with Watford already getting permanent, Lemina could be a decent addition to the Everton side. Koeman already has a player like Lemina in Idrissa Gueye, who does the job pretty well and Lemina could be his back-up. However, it is his price tag, which could prove to be a hurdle.

The Old Lady has labelled their midfielder at a £20 million, and it could prove to be too much for the Toffees, who have already got in Jordan Pickford and Klaassen for hefty prices. To top that, with players like Tom Davies, Morgan Schneiderlin and Gueye already established in their midfield, Lemina would take the time to adapt and break into the first team.

And he hasn’t been impactful in Turin either, managing just 27 appearances this season in all competitions. Though the African has shown enough potential earlier to be likened with Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, regular football is what he essentially needs now. And Watford could provide him with that much more than Everton.

While Arsenal and Everton, both Europa League challengers next season, would play quite a number of games next season, it still won’t guarantee first team football for the player. An academy product of Ligue 1 side FC Lorient, it was Marseille who bought him in 2013.

After two seasons with them, where he had made a decent impression, Juventus decided to try him temporarily. Although Allegri had handed him only 10 league games in 2015, he still decided to have him permanently last summer. His involvement increased, but he still falls behind the likes of Sami Khedira and Miralem Pjanic.

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