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Is Mario Lemina About To Leave ?
Monday, 30th Jul 2018 09:47

Recent stories in the media seem to be suggesting a transfer chain that could lead to Mario Lemina leaving St May's after only one season.

Last week saw a raft of transfer rumours suggesting that West Ham United were about to make a move for Mario Lemina, although transfer rumours are ten a penny at this time of year, this one seemed to be a little more persistent than the normal speculative ones.

Now comes the news that Saints are allegedly in the frame for Danny Drinkwater whose career seems to have stalled at Chelsea, he made only 12 Premier League appearances for them last season and only another 10 in all other competitions.

Now with Maurizio Sarri appearing to revamping the playing squad including the style of play he looks now to be completely surplus to requirements.

So why would Saints be looking at signing yet another central midfield player ? especially one of Drinkwater's quality unless of course they are planning on letting one of the current squad go.

Certainly Saints are top heavy with players proven at Premier League level who can play in the centre of midfield, in addition to Lemina they still have Oriol Romeu, Steve Davis, James Ward Prowse, Pierre Emile Hojbjerg and Stuart Armstrong all able to play in this position, that's 6 players for 3 positions and even if Steven Davis should go that is still top heavy.

If Drinkwater was to arrive then it would be very crowded in the centre of the midfield.

All of those 6 players want regular football, even now with no additions or departures it is hard to see how all will be kept happy, so it is natural that Saints might be looking at shedding at least one not counting Davis.

That being the case then Mario Lemina might well be the obvious choice, there is no doubt he would command the biggest fee, there is no doubt that on his day he is the best player out of the lot, but there lies the rub, for various reasons it was not his day as often as it should have been and out of the five who were at the club last season it could be said he contributed the least overall.

It is widely accepted that he fell out with Mauricio Pellegrino last season when he was forced to play against Everton at St Mary's when he still felt he had nor recovered from injury, the question is whether that rift was just with our ex manager or runs deeper, in fairness he looked committed in the final weeks of the season, but the question is still there about his attitude and whether i prevents him finding the consistency to match his talent.

To add fuel to the fire Lemina did not feature in the win over Dijon FCO at the weekend with no explanation as to his absence.

This all adds up to the fact that if Saints could land Drinkwater either permanently or on loan then selling Lemina could look a good deal as they would be able to make a good profit on the whole situation.

There will be some who will see this as us being a selling club, however that would be far off the mark, if we are to succeed it is all about buying and selling players on our own terms and this would be the case here, we do not need to sell Lemina, but equally we can't afford to have a squad too top heavy in certain positions.

If this series of events happens then it should be seen as a positive move by the club and another step forward in showing that last season was a blip and that we can still challenge for the top 10.

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saintlee added 10:05 - Jul 30
We would be bonkers to sell him. When he's on it he is our best player by miles. Maybe the Drinkwater rumour is true but maybe Oriel Romeu or Hojberg are under threat. Its natural progression to improve your squad.
5

Sanguin added 10:10 - Jul 30
When you consider agent fees and Drinkwater’s likely salary at Chelsea then, for me, this would be a very expensive downgrade. Lemina struggled in a struggling team but he was consistently one of our best players before getting injured and finished the season strong. I think he’ll be even better next year.
7

Wembley76 added 10:10 - Jul 30
Not a good 'trade' (Lemina for Drinkwatern) in my opinion. At Leicester, he was made to look good in the system employed there but looked like a "fish out of water" at Chelsea.
3

arthurfane added 10:17 - Jul 30
His wife is pregnant and due imminently, hence his lack of involvement and looks of disinterest. I think Mario will stay and hope we won't sign Danny Drinkwater - he only looked good as he was playing along side the world's best defensive midfielder at Leicester...
5

Wembley76 added 10:20 - Jul 30
Err, Arthur, isn't that same "best defensive" midfielder currently at Chelsea too!
1

skiptonsaint added 10:29 - Jul 30
Bit torn here ...if we sell Lemina and Tadic in the same window is that us selling our two best players again to the outside world ? What message does that send to players looking to come to a club that finished 17th

That said I do rate Reed as back up and we have other areas that need the money spent on more imo ie goals

Need to be 45 m though now at this stage of the window and then it spent on 2 quality players

And please not to West Ham
0

FredAndWhite added 10:40 - Jul 30
I want to second what arthurfane said, Lemina is not leaving and was left out of the Dijon squad because his wife is 9 months pregnant and about to give birth at any minute and Hughes allowed him to be on standby. He posted on his Instagram yesterday which roughly translates to "We can imagine what we want and say what we want from me I am someone loyal. Judge without knowing! All that matters my wife my children my family"
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redandwhitedee added 10:50 - Jul 30
If you follow twitter you would see the wife 9 months pregnant story posted by ‘Swiss saint’

In any case 6 such midfielders is a good number. At least 1 will typically be suspended/injured/in the huff, which leaves 2 on the bench to shake things up if players are not performing on the pitch.
6 is good.
4

arthurfane added 11:17 - Jul 30
Wembley76 - er, yes he is. That isn't to say Drinkwater, just because his inadequacies are masked by Kante's brilliance, should start alongside him. Chelsea have a wealth of midfield talent (whilst Leicester didn't) - this is why Danny Drinkwater doesn't start for them.
-1

petedoors1 added 11:23 - Jul 30
We would be mad to sell Mario Lemina he is our best player. We have Steve Davis who is not up to Premier League level now and James Ward-Prowse who never was. These two should go before any one else out of the midfield. We still need a big striker.
8

saintsnutcase added 11:24 - Jul 30
Drinkwater is more reliable than Lemina though not more talented. Over a full season he would be a really good option.
Overall I think we now have good cover in every position except right back, depending on what we do with Reed. However, do we have any real proven top PL quality? Not sure.
-3

surreysaint added 11:46 - Jul 30
It's a tough one this, because as many have said on here, we have a good set of central midfielders in Romeu, Lemina, JWP, Davis, Hojberg and Armstrong (you could throw Reed and Hesketh in there too, let's not forget how important the whole "path to the first team" is to our club and our recruitment policy). My problem with them is that (Armstrong aside, perhaps) they are all a bit similar: Positional sense, hard working, decent passers and anywhere between 0 and 3 goals a season. If we're going to play 3 centre backs we shouldn't need as many of these kind of central midfielders. We've been crying out for a more attacking central midfielder for a while now and i think it was a big contributing factor in our lack of goals last season. 6-10 goals a season but just someone who wants to get in the box will create space and opportunities for our strikers too. Hopefully Armstrong is that guy, especially at home.
3

TeamCortese added 11:46 - Jul 30
Nick what is going on up there? If this club acts like is a football club (i.e. it makes decisions primarily for football reasons) it won't sell Mario Lemina...period!

We are not going to get a player of his quality unless we're willing to fork out £30-40 million and that's if we're lucky! FFS he's only had one season in the EPL and needed time to adjust. Not to mention was managed by a terrible manager when he arrived.

If we have any common sense Davis, JWP, Redmond, Long, Austin, Gallagher and Reed would all be the first to go and should be sold anyway. The squad needs major trimming! I simply don't get your and (to a lesser degree) the club's logic sometimes.

Danny Drinkwater has less potential than Lemina and should be at best a loan option. We need to buy a decent striker that can get us 15-20 goals a season!
12

halftimeorange added 12:04 - Jul 30
Although rarely 100% fit, Lemina oozed class at times last season and he was certainly up for it at the end. He is the least wholly defensive of the midfielders we used last season and has more fluency about his play than any of them. They might give everything they've got but, Lemina's obvious ability, should MH be able to harness it, makes him a cut above and Saints should not entertain any offers for him. Danny Drinkwater is another workhorse but, with PEH ande OR, we don't need him. If it is correct that Hughes has given Lemina time off then that would indicate the relationship is somewhat more secure than it was between Lemina and Pellegrino who couldn't motivate the players. If he stays, I expect Lemina to be a big part of Saints season. Then we'll see the really big bids come in.
6

Jesus_02 added 12:17 - Jul 30
Drinkwater is a good player but he isn't going to improve the squad. He isn't as good as Lamina, is 4 years older and probably on 30% more wages.

It doesn't add up as a Saints signing. I think we are just being used as a selling point TBH.

3

kenis added 12:24 - Jul 30
Drinkwater’s wages would be a problem, even if it paid for the club 100% would unsettle the squad. Can’t beleive anyone who says Davis is not Prem quality, been our best player for years and even though he’s getting on a bit still has a few years left. He should only go if his heart is in a return to Rangers. Lemina should stay and I think six is the right number to compete for our midfield especially as can see us playing 5-4-1 and negative destructive football sometimes so four central mids might play out of Romeu (should start every game), Lemina, Hoijbjerg, Davis, Armstrong, Ward-Prowse. Does make you think are Reed and Ward-Prowse seen as emergency cover for Soares, haven’t seen any news about Valery playing this pre-season (didn’t McQueen play there bs Dijon?), maybe Reed is ahead of Valery and Ward-Prowse now as RB / RWB cover.
2

BuenosSaint added 12:32 - Jul 30
Everyone is remembering Lemina's "good times" and yes he can be a great and influencial player. But when he was absent, it truly cost us and it was way too many times . That sort of inconsistency is not worth it at this level. I don't have too much of an issue with him leaving. I liked him, yes but not when he did not turn up.
-1

legod7 added 13:25 - Jul 30
As ST holder I received an email from the club advertising tickets for the away game against Everton with a prominent picture of Mario Lemina on it.
1

saintmark1976 added 13:35 - Jul 30
If Lemina goes then it sends out a signal that normal service has been resumed. Tadic and Lemina who are players with proven Premiership experience will have been replaced so far by four others who haven't one Premiership appearance between them. Nothing will have changed it's now just become " The Southampton Way ".
7

LoisDeem added 14:56 - Jul 30
I'd like to think that Mario is the type of player that Sparky can nurture and improve.
He's only been here five minutes, FFS.
I hope it plays out this way, but there's another side to football that I despise -just watch how many of the top six /franchise clubs pressure their 'lesser' rivals the closer the season start /transfer deadline approaches. Yet another form of bullying and cheating.
Hopefully, Saints have someone in mind to bolster our attacking options, so hope they're ready, they must know more than the rest of us!
8

DPeps added 17:58 - Jul 30
We have a lot of midfielders, yes, but Lemina is the most talented out of them.

He wasn't great last season, but who was?! It was his first season in the PL - cut the guy some slack.

Selling him now would be madness
4

GeordieSaint added 18:27 - Jul 30
I love Stephen Davis.
1

amsterdamsaint added 19:44 - Jul 30
Davis is a very clever player. Calm, and with great vision.
1

BuyEastleighFC4aBtea added 00:29 - Jul 31
Ok it seems you guys at ugly have kicked up a storm with this story judging by the amounts of comments! Personal I got bored reading your artical after your premise of chain of this player will move here if player move there!

This is a nonsense story & isn't worth the read time investment. We've some blackbox honor transfers in the last few seasons! Namely Gaston, Osvaldo, jodry,C, Carillio,Boufal & Redmond in my view
Blackbox my a*s! Pot luck in reality

Should this so called transfer go through it won't the last that's through Las Read will be!
0

SanMarco added 08:37 - Jul 31
We musn't start selling players after just one year. It looks bad - especially when it is (potentially anyway) your best player. If he has a great season in the coming year then the usual will happen with the consolation of a big profit. Let him go now and it shows future VVDs that you don't even have to stay for two seasons before you start throwing your toys out of the pram.

It would be very unlike Saints to go for Drinkwater. If we are going to go down the high wages, big name route why not get someone who scores a few goals??

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