Manchester United are currently in a rebuilding phase under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and have secured two signings so far, of talented, young players. The Red Devils are keen on signing a midfielder to replace Ander Herrera, who left the club after his contract expired, with several names being linked with a move to Old Trafford.
The latest midfielder that United are rumoured to be interested in is a surprising one – Southampton’s Mario Lemina, who joined the Saints from Juventus in 2017 for a fee of £15.4 million. Sky Sports are reporting that the Premier League club have enquired about the availability of Lemina, who has been left out of Southampton’s training camp as he looks set to leave the club.
Premier League rivals Arsenal are also reportedly interested in the Gabon international, who is currently worth 18 million, as per Metro. The Daily Star are, meanwhile, reporting that Lemina would be interested in a move to United rather than Arsenal.
The 25-year-old came through the ranks at French club Lorient, before joining Marseille and Juventus, and then the Saints in 2017. Lemina missed a majority of the second half of last season following an abdominal injury and played just 23 games last season.
Should Ole make a move?
Manchester United need a few midfielders to add depth to their side, while the starting XI also needs at least one midfielder, but the signing of Lemina, if the deal does go through, will be a very surprising one.
To put it bluntly, Lemina does not seem to be of Manchester United quality and hasn’t shown that in the two seasons at Southampton. The Gabon international is a neat passer of the ball and is a hard worker in midfield but he is an average player who is suited for a mid-table team and not a team like Manchester United at the top end of the table.
Lemina has the energy to go from box to box, while also being a versatile player but he is not better than any of the players that Manchester United have on their bench currently. Solskjaer should instead bring in a world-class midfielder who can play alongside Paul Pogba and not a squad player who hasn’t had much of an impact during his time at Southampton where the pressure would have been much less compared to what he might face at Old Trafford.