Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina has joined Galatasaray on a season-long loan, via Sky Sports News.
The Gabon international had been vying for a move away from the south coast all summer, with Manchester United rumoured to be keen on bringing him to Old Trafford to bolster their options in midfield.
A move to the north west never materialised for Lemina, though, and as Monday’s transfer deadline edged ever closer it looked as though he may miss out on a move away all together.
However, he will now ply his trade in Turkey’s top-flight until next summer at least, with an option to buy him permanently in twelve months also included in the deal to Galatasaray by Southampton.
The 25-year-old signed for the Saints from Juventus in 2017, and has gone on to make 46 appearances for the Premier League side. After a summer of discontent on the south coast, which even saw Lemina lose his space in the club’s Staplewood training ground changing room (as reported by the Daily Echo), it was clear that a move away from Hampshire was required for the sake of his career.
Lemina will have the perfect opportunity to reinvent himself in Turkey after his time on the south coast. He has an abundance of quality – that much is undeniable – with the former Juventus man boasting a pass success rate that no Southampton midfielder bettered last season (via WhoScored).
It is looking unlikely that the ex-Marseille midfielder will ever play for Southampton again, so working hard in the Super Lig and Champions League this term with Galatasaray is vastly important so he can still realise his dream of playing for one of Europe’s biggest clubs – something he has firmly reiterated his desire to do so in the past.
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