Why Wolves made a mistake by not signing Southampton’s Mario Lemina
According to a report from the Daily Echo, Wolves were interested in signing Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina on loan but dropped their interest after the Saints wanted a straight sale.
Mario Lemina, 25, signed for Southampton from Juventus in 2017. He played 21 times in the Premier League for Southampton last season, scoring one goal.
The Gabonese hasn’t really been one of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s preferred midfield options and has been itching for a move away from the club since the end of last season when he made it clear that he wanted a new challenge.
As the English transfer window has come to a close, Lemina’s best bet of sealing a move away from Saints will be to a foreign club. Knowing that fact that the midfielder is looking out for a new challenge, Wolves should have signed him during the summer transfer window.
Wolves made a few signings over the summer to bolster their hopes of breaking into the top six this season. The arrivals of Patrick Cutrone, Jesus Vallejo and Pedro Neto will certainly help the Wanderers in achieving their goals. However, one crucial area Nuno Espirito Santo failed to address is the midfield.
Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves played nearly every game alongside one another for Wolves and it’ll be difficult for Moutinho to continue performing at such a high level given his age. Adding some proven competition for Moutinho, Neves, Dendoncker and Saiss in midfield would certainly have been a smart idea.
In that regard, Lemina simply would have been perfect at the Molineux. The Gabon international has shown flashes of potential at Southampton in the last two seasons and with age on his side, he could have been a solid addition to the Wolves ranks.
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The 25-year-old is a central midfielder, known for his passing range, energy and tough tackling. He is flashy and has a trick or two in his locker, likes to dribble and take on defenders and has a good turn of pace.
The ex-Marseille and Juventus ace has the ability to drive forward with the ball at his feet from midfield and make an incisive pass or score a banger from outside the box.
A technically-gifted, athletic and box-to-box midfielder with solid European pedigree, Lemina would have undoubtedly bolstered Wolves’ midfield options as well as added competition to the squad. But as things stand, Nuno and co. have missed a big trick by missing out on the Gabonese midfielder.