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