The West Ham United fans in the Transfer Tavern are hoping that their club will demonstrate a marked improvement during the next campaign, and recent rumours regarding a potential transfer target have given them reason to believe the hierarchy are increasing their ambition.
According to reports from the French media outlet Footmercato, Southampton’s Mario Lemina has emerged as a transfer target for a handful of Premier League clubs including Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and West Ham United. The Gabonese international has been a bright spark amidst a relatively sobering campaign for Southampton, as his technical performances in midfield have been a rare source of creativity for the club.
Naturally, the quality of his performances have caught the eye of Premier League onlookers and, considering West Ham are short of options in central-midfield, it’s no surprise that the Hammers are interested in prising him away from the Saints. The Hammers have become overly reliant on their loyal stalwart Mark Noble this season to lead by example with a series of combative displays, but they are lacking the presence of a technically gifted player who could enable the club to challenge for Europe next season.
Lemina provides the answer to that nagging problem, so regardless of who is in charge of the club this summer, they should make him the club’s number one transfer target. The 24-year-old arrived at Southampton with a prestigious footballing background after enjoying two successful seasons at Juventus where he won back-to-back Serie A titles, and his experience in Italy suggests he still has plenty of improving to do.
The West Ham supporters have been highly critical of the club this season for their lack of spending in the transfer market, but they’ll certainly need to quash that notion if they wish to land Lemina. With demand for Lemina’s services intensifying after an impressive debut season in the Premier League, Southampton will be well placed to demand an extortionate fee for his services.
Lemina would be expensive, but that should not deter West Ham from making a bid. In the long-term, Lemina has the potential to become one of the Premier League’s most effective central midfielders due to his ability to positively influence the game at both ends of the pitch, and alongside Noble he could form a formidable partnership which provides the perfect balance between creativity and defensive solidity.
The Hammers hierarchy need to make a statement of intent this summer and signing Lemina from Southampton would be an ideal place to begin their spending spree.
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