Things did not work out exactly the way Everton would have wanted when they signed Ronald Koeman from Southampton. Though a 7th place finish in the Premier League table in his first season in charge with the Toffees is not really that bad, they could have aimed higher if not for the bad patches of form.
For a club that have been more or less “mid-table” performers, it seems that the Dutch manager could be on the right path and success might be just around the corner.
Keeping that in mind, there will still be a need for more quality at the Merseyside club, which is why the English side were chasing Juventus’ midfield star Mario Lemina.
Apart from the Blues, it was Arsenal and Watford, who were looking to get their hands on the 23-year old Gabon international as well, though it seems that none of them might actually succeed at it.
The recent reports suggest that the English giants have lost out on the opportunity to add him to their squads and that the Serie A holders want to use him as a make-weight to sign Steven N’Zonzi from Sevilla.
This would surely not be the end of the interest of these clubs for their target, though it all now depends on what the club from Turin wants for their youngster. Everton will have to act quickly if they harbour hopes of using him in their midfield next season.
He joined Juve in 2015 and has since then managed 29 league appearances, scoring thrice. More or less used as a substitute, the player has great potential if given the right amount of game time. He can also play on the right-wing if needed, which gives the manager an additional option to look forward to, though it is not his best position.
With a 90% successful passing rate in the domestic league and an average of 1.3 tackles per game, the player can really hold his own, if his team needs him to. He is not over-aggressive and that is something that might be welcomed in the top-flight of English football. (Stats via Whoscored)
What he’ll offer to the club?
Lemina is a central midfielder and is still quite young. He has a lot of football ahead of him and can evolve into a high-quality playmaker, as his ball distribution is really good. He has the experience of playing for a couple of French clubs in his early years and should adapt quickly to the pace of the game in England.
The problem is that he has barely been given a complete game for his current club, which has been quite frustrating for a youngster with such great potential. The best part is that he is more or less a well-balanced player, who can fortify Koeman’s midfield if used correctly.
Should Everton sign him? Yes. If the price is right.