Arsenal are eyeing a move for Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina, it has been reported.
The Saints midfielder is attracting interest from Leicester City, Manchester United and Arsenal, as per the Daily Echo. However, no one has met Southampton’s asking price for the midfielder.
The former Juventus midfield voiced his wish to leave the Saints this summer in an interview with France Football, “As early as last year, I had set my conditions: I wanted to go elsewhere this summer.”
“I had just decided to go to for two years, and see if I could take another step.”
“We had agreed with the sports director. I prefer that we stay on good terms, faithful to what we said.”
Lemina suffered a hernia injury last year in December, which kept him on the sidelines for the majority of last season.
He managed just one goal and one assists in 23 appearances across all competitions last season.
What will Mario Lemina add to Arsenal?
The former Juventus player primarily features as a defensive midfielder and can move to a central midfield role if the need arises. He can also be used in a makeshift right-back role if needed.
The Gabonese international is a strong player in the middle of the park, and is also pretty accomplished in aerial duels, which is sort of expected as he is 6 feet tall.
The Saints midfielder is good at driving at opposition defences from the deeper areas, and possesses good dribbling skills and pace to help him do the same.
Lemina averaged a pass success of 86% last season, as well as 1.1 dribbles per game. His style is pretty similar to former Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey, who was known for his attacking bursts from midfield.
The 25-year old managed 2.3 tackles, 2 interceptions and 1.4 clearances per game last season, so he would be a good player to have in front of the defence as he can put a foot in.
There are areas he can improve on. Lemina lacked a bit of focus during games last season, and drifted off at times which affected his side’s control on games.
It will be a challenge for Unai Emery to exploit Lemina’s ability seeing he has the potential, but sometimes lacks the personality to reciprocate it on the pitch, a reason why he was let go by Juventus.
Lemina’s ability to drive forward, and defensive work-ethic could help the Gunners next season, and considering he is pretty experienced and has played in the Premier League, he would be a pretty safe option for the Gunners.