When Mario Lemina decided to swap Juventus for Southampton in 2017, it was seen back then as a major coup for the south coast side.
But two year after the reported £18.1m transfer according to BBC Sport, Saints supporters could not have a more different opinion on the 26-year-old midfielder.
Two average seasons in the Premier League as a falling out with Ralph Hasenhuttl saw Lemina make the move to Galatasaray on loan, with the Press Association reporting that the European giants have an option in the deal to make the signing permanent.
Yet after just four appearances for the Istanbul-based club this season, including a start in the Champions League as numbers from Transfermarkt show, it seemingly appears that Galatasaray could take up this option to sign the Gabon international as Turkish football commentator Ridvan Dilmen hailed Lemina as the Super Lig side’s best signing of the summer.
The NTV commentator said to Sporx via Sport Witness: “I think Lemina is the best transfer Galatasaray have made this summer. He is a very good player,” with Dilmen adding: “His qualities for a midfield position are very pleasing.”
Indeed, it should be no real surprise to see Lemina flourishing away from Southampton.
The former Juventus midfielder was compared to Manchester United star Paul Pogba during his time with the Italian side by The Sun in 2017, and it is easy to forget that before his deadline day move to Turkey, Lemina was linked with both the Red Devils and Arsenal as reported by The Telegraph.
Any player is bound to underperform at a club if the environment and manager don’t work in favour of the athlete, and that seems to be the case for Lemina, who now seems to have found his ideal balance in Turkey with Galatasaray, proving that Southampton simply wasn’t right for the midfielder.