Southampton were just able to save their skin in the Premier League as they hung on to the 17th position. They were in dire straits and were gone for all money at one point but a few good outings in the end part of the season were enough to secure their survival. However, they can still lose out on some of their players in the summer and according to latest reports, West Ham are looking to sign Gabonese midfielder Mario Lemina.
Lemina joined Southampton in the previous summer transfer window from Italian giants Juventus for a fee of £15.4m. However, he hasn’t been able to justify his price tag as he has blown hot and cold in the season just gone by. The midfielder played 29 times this season and managed one goal and assist.
Lemina is a versatile player and has been used in quite a few roles throughout his career. He is a box to box midfielder to begin with but can play in the more contained and defensive role as well. When he was in France with Marseille, he played as a right back and in the right wing back position and was quite successful in that role. He is known for his ball distribution and the ability to win back the ball. Southampton this season have usually used him in his preferred central midfield role but his performances have left a lot to be desired among the fans.
Lemina is also known for his poor temper and outburst on the pitch and on a bad day he can be a liability for his team. Nevertheless, he has that moment of spark in him which made Southampton spend so much on him. However, they would have liked more returns from him and now they can lose him in the transfer market if West Ham set their sights on him.
West Ham are currently managerless as David Moyes was brought in until the end of the season and it is yet not clear who will take up the top job at the Olympics stadium. For a player like Lemina, a manager with good man-management skills is required otherwise he could be a disruptive force for his own team.
He is contracted to stay with the Saints until 2022 and bringing him into the West London outfit could be a gamble for them. The board is currently under pressure as the West Ham fans have clearly shown their discontent for them and a signing like Lemina can easily backfire. He is certainly not going to come in cheap and the Hammers should probably stay away from him and let him prove himself next season at the St. Mary’s.
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