Southampton have completed the signing of Juventus midfielder Mario Lemina on a five-year deal. The deal is worth 18.1 million pounds.
The Gabon international is the second signing for Saints this summer, the other being Polish under-21 international Jan Bednarek for 5 million pounds.
Saints vice-chairman had a few words to say after they had completed the signing beating the likes of Watford, Stoke and Leicester City to his signature. He said,
“In a volatile market with some extraordinary and inexplicable transfers taking place, we are determined to go about our work in a diligent and correct way. “This is a player who has won trophies and played in the Champions League final less than three months ago and he has signed for Saints amid a host of suitors. Mario still has his best years ahead of him and we believe he will not only be an excellent acquisition for us in the immediate future but that he will also be able to realise even more of his potential here in the years to come.”
Lemina joined Juventus at the start of the 2015 season on loan from Lorient and has gone on to win two Serie A titles and two Coppa Italia honours in a Juventus shirt. The loan move was made permanent when he put pen to paper in a four-year deal last summer.
Lemina started just 8 league games last season and made a further 11 appearances off the bench. He recorded a goal and an assist. His passing accuracy was great with 89.8 % of his attempted passes finding a teammate. He averaged 1.3 tackles, 0.9 dribbles and 0.4 key passes per game.
Lemina is a great first-time crosser, and has great ball-control to go with it. He is an indirect set-piece threat and does not shy away from a tackle.
What does Lemina offer Southampton?
Apart from increasing the depth of the squad, the signing of Lemina means that Southampton can rely on a great talent whose ceiling is very high. His potential can be met by using him as a central midfielder. He can combine well with the likes of Dusan Tadic, Nathan Redmond and Sofiane Boufal. The job of integrating Lemina into the setup lies on new manager Mauricio Pellegrino, who arrived only a month or so ago.
Mario Lemina feels he has made the right choice in opting to sign for Southampton, saying, “I am really happy to have signed for Southampton. I think that it was the project that attracted me the most and the one my family was really behind. I am really happy to be here.”