Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina could return from Galatasaray early, due to the Turkish Super Lig’s foreign player rule.
Fotomac (via Sport Witness) reports that Lemina could be sacrificed so that the club can reintroduce full-back Martin Linnes into the squad, after he was left out at the beginning of the campaign due to the club reaching their maximum quota for foreign players (14).
The report claims that Galatasaray manager Fatih Terim wants to bring Linnes back into the team due to a shortage of options available to him at full-back, but to do so would have to get rid of a current foreign member of the squad, with Lemina thought to be a possible candidate to face the chopping board.
The Turkish giants are also understood to want to bring back winger Henry Onyekuru – who enjoyed a successful stint on loan at the Türk Telekom Stadium last time out, scoring 14 goals – on another possible temporary deal from his parent club AS Monaco, which would again mean that they would have to part ways with some of the foreign players in their current squad.
Indeed, Lemina’s career in Turkey hasn’t exactly taken off. The Gabon international has played four times for Gala – three times in the Super Lig and once in the Champions League – but has failed to score or assist in any of those matches, via Transfermarkt.
Although Fotomac and Sport Witness do not currently report any comments from the player himself at this stage, after a slow start to life in Turkey, it is unlikely that he would feel too aggrieved if he was sacrificed so that the likes of Linnes and Onyekuru could be potentially brought back into the fold.
After all, maybe a change of scenery would be of benefit to the player; Lemina could well go back on loan elsewhere in January, perhaps to a club in England, where he could attempt to force his way back into the first team at Saints next term.
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