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Wolves: Mario Lemina very close to Molineux move

Wolves: Mario Lemina very close to Molineux move

Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina’s proposed transfer to Wolves looks set to be completed before Thursday’s transfer deadline.

Manu Lonjon, a journalist for Yahoo! Sport in France, tweeted that a deal for the 25-year-old Gabon international is now in “the final straight” [via Sport Witness].

Sky Sports reported in late July that Wolves were interested in signing Lemina, with Foot Mercato claiming last weekend that the Molineux club were in advanced discussions with the player.

The midfielder put other clubs on red alert after an interview with Foot Mercato last month in which he said: “It’s true that I do not rule out the possibility of going elsewhere… If I do not feel [part of] the project, I can leave.”

Defensive midfielder Lemina joined Southampton from Juventus two years ago, making 52 appearances for the Saints and scoring twice.

The St Mary’s faithful regularly sang about how he “never gives the ball away“, and while that isn’t entirely accurate, the Gabon man did boast an impressive passing success rate of 87.8% in his first season on the south coast. This diminished to 86% last term.

Lemina is also confident in taking on opponents one-on-one, with an average of 2.2 dribbles per game in 2017/18 and 1.1 per game last season.

As well as being comfortable in possession, he is adept at halting opposition attacks, with an average of 2.3 tackles and two interceptions per game in 2018/19.

His passing ability has been notably higher than Wolves’ current defensive midfielders Ruben Neves, Leander Dendoncker and Romain Saiss, who posted passing success rates of 81.2%, 79.4% and 77.1% respectively last term.

He is far more astute at dribbling than the Wolves trio – Dendoncker recorded 0.6 dribbles per game last season, with Neves and Saiss making just 0.3 each per game.

Only Dendoncker averaged more tackles per game with 2.8, while only Neves averaged more interceptions (2.1 per game).

Also, both Neves and Saiss had worse disciplinary records than the Southampton man in 2018/19, with 10 and eight bookings respectively compared to Lemina’s five.

Although Lemina’s goal contribution is weak (only one per 26 games for Southampton), he would offer Wolves decent passing ability from the base of midfield and an aptitude for bringing the ball forwards with him, along with an ability to get stuck in without excessively resorting to foul means.

Compared to Nuno Espirito Santo’s current options in defensive midfield, he seems to have a very well-rounded skill set that should make him an astute purchase for Wolves if they can get a deal done in the next couple of days.

Wolves fans, do you think Lemina would be a hit at Molineux if he signs? Comment below with your views!

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Article title: Wolves: Mario Lemina very close to Molineux move

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