According to Daily Mail, as cited by Yorkshire Evening Post, Newcastle United are intent on signing Mario Lemina. They are hoping to find an agreement for the Southampton midfielder this summer as Steve Bruce looks to shore up his options in the middle of the park. Lemina’s current contract at St. Mary’s Stadium expires at the end of next season, making him a cost-effective target for Newcastle.
Mario Lemina’s Struggles At Southampton
Mario Lemina was one of Southampton’s most lucrative signings when he joined the club in 2017 for a fee of €17 million. The midfielder was the club’s chief creative option during the first couple of seasons at the club, but constant struggles with injuries made it difficult for him to live up to the potential.
The appointment of Ralph Hasenhuttl added to his woes, as the Austrian tactician preferred hard-working players like Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, James Ward-Prowse and Oriol Romeu. As such, Lemina soon lost his place in the side, eventually spending the last two seasons on loan at Galatasaray and Fulham respectively.
However, despite his struggles at Southampton, Mario Lemina is still highly regarded as a creative midfielder who can make things happen with his technical prowess and quality on the ball.
The Gabonese international is still a work-in-progress when it comes to his challenges and temperament, but the midfielder is indeed a chance creator in the middle of the park. The 27-year-old, though, is defensively astute as well and is capable of playing as a centre-back, in addition to his preferred holding midfield role.
Is Lemina A Wise Option For Newcastle United?
Newcastle United have appeared as one of the least active teams in the transfer market so far. They are yet to sign a single player, which puts pressure on Steve Bruce as he desperately needs reinforcements, especially in the midfield department.
While Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey are vital components in the middle of the park, the likes of Jeff Hendrick and Sean Longstaff haven’t had much success this past season. As such, the Magpies need to find a reliable alternative, particularly for Shelvey as his contract expires in 2023.
Mario Lemina fits the bill perfectly due to his experience at the highest level of football. Having played for Juventus, Galatasaray and Southampton, the Gabonese international can certainly bring quality in the number six role for the Toon, providing some much-needed competition for the current crop of midfielders.
What makes him an even more appealing option for Bruce is Lemina’s versatility. He can play almost anywhere in central midfield and even as a centre-back if required. And with substantial experience of playing in English football, the 27-year-old should be a decent investment for NUFC.
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