Southampton fans watched on yesterday as their club said a temporary goodbye to a number of players on what was dubbed as deadline day 2 by Sky Sports. One of those to leave on-loan was Mario Lemina, as the Gabonese midfield man signed a season-long deal with Galatasaray in the Turkish Super Lig.
Over the course of the summer transfer window, the wantaway midfield was linked with a move to Manchester United, and Sky Sports even reported that the Red Devils made an enquiry for the ex-Juventus man, but ultimately those rumours came to nothing.
All you need to look at to see what Lemina brings to the table is the midfield man’s stats over the last couple of Premier League seasons. Whilst he hasn’t always featured for the Saints, making 46 Premier League appearances out of the 76 he could’ve done in two seasons (Transfermarkt), when he has, he’s shone, and sending him out to Turkey is a definite waste of the man’s abilities.
At the age of 26-years-old, Lemina should be in the Premier League, be it with Southampton or a side further up the table, as his qualities in the middle of the park are certainly valuable, adding to whatever team he turns out for in both defence and attack with his ability to read the game and move the ball forward.
Looking at WhoScored, in his debut campaign at St. Mary’s in 2017/18, Lemina averaged 2.2 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 1.3 clearances and 2.2 dribbles per game, whilst also maintaining a passing accuracy of 87.8%.
Then, to prove his consistency at the top level, Lemina then continued these stats into the 2018/19 season, as he managed an 86% rate and a more impressive 2 tackles, 2.3 interceptions and 1.4 clearances every 90 minutes, also via WhoScored.
If the midfielder was still at Southampton and was willing to play, he would almost certainly feature in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, instead, though he’s set to ply his trade in Turkey where he could find himself moving permanently seeing as his loan has an option to buy clause for next summer.