Since Ralph Hasenhuttl took to the St. Mary’s dugout, there have been improvements all over the pitch at Southampton.
The south coast club’s midfielders, in particular, have really raised their game under the former RB Leipzig boss, with the likes of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and James Ward-Prowse performing exceptionally well.
And having had to watch that from the stands, now back from injury, Mario Lemina will feel he has even more of a point to prove.
The 25-year-old, who has not always been the most consistent of performers during his time at St. Mary’s, has had to take a back seat in the Hasenhuttl revolution due an abdominal problem.
But with that now behind him and having managed to get a goal to his name in a recent 3-1 defeat to Newcastle United, Lemina now has the chance to really kick on and lock down a starting spot in Hasenhuttl’s starting XI.
Technically, he might just be the best midfielder the Saints have at disposal. The Gabon international is a good dribbler and someone in the engine room who is capable of picking out a pass.
While physically, there are probably not a lot of midfielders in the Premier League who can go toe-to-toe with him.
“The France Under 21 international built a reputation in Ligue 1 as a tenacious ball-winner, averaging almost double the amount of successful tackles per game than his midfield counterparts,” Juventus wrote on their official club website when speaking about Lemina after they signed him from Marseille back in 2015.
“Add to that an eye for a forward pass as well as dribbling skills and the Bianconeri have a multi-talented player.”
Up and running again after going under the knife because of that abdominal injury, now is the time for Lemina to start showing the above at Southampton week in, week out.
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