The Southampton fans in the Transfer Tavern are growing increasingly concerned by reports linking Mario Lemina with a move away from the club, as Liverpool are supposedly preparing yet another raid on the south-coast outfit this summer.
Southampton supporters are well accustomed to reports linking their star player’s with a move to Merseyside, so the latest report from the French media outlet L’Equipe (via Liverpool Echo) hardly make for surprising reading. Lemina has raised plenty of eyebrows with his combative performances for Southampton this season, and his impact since joining from Juventus last summer has been a minor bright spark in an otherwise sobering campaign for our resident Saints faithful propping up our bar.
After losing Nathaniel Clyne, Virgil Van Dijk, Adam Lallana and Sadio Mane over the years – to mention just a few names who have made the switch from Southampton to Liverpool – it would be a bitter blow for the club to see Lemina follow in the footsteps of the aforementioned players. However, Southampton must prepare for that eventuality by identifying a handful of players who could potentially replace the Gabonese international next summer.
One player who the club should be keeping a close eye on is Burnley’s Jack Cork (valued at £8.1 million by Transfermarkt). Sean Dyche’s side have slumped in recent weeks, but their season so far has typically been characterised by resolute defensive solidity and an ability to grind out results against opposition of varying calibre. The shield the Cork has provided in front of the Burnley defence has been a major reason for The Clarets success in cementing a position in the top-half of the table.
It’s likely that Burnley will be reluctant to sell considering they only signed him from Swansea in the summer of 2017, but if the offer is right they could be persuaded to part company with their impressive holding midfielder, so Southampton should at least be making an enquiry into his availability in the event that Lemina departs the club.
Having previously played for Saints, the one-cap England man would certainly be a popular addition.
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