According to a report from the Metro, Mario Lemina has told Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl he would like to leave the club this summer.
The Gabon international, 25, joined Southampton in an £18m deal from Juventus two years ago, and while he has shown flashes of his ability his time on the South Coast has been hit by injuries.
The midfielder has been omitted from Southampton’s squad for their pre-season tour of Austria, which suggests the club are ready to part ways with him this summer.
That being said, Arsenal must go all out to win the race for Lemina’s signature.
Unai Emery is in need for fresh faces at Arsenal this summer after his side missed out on a top-four place last season. Signing players has been difficult for Emery, with the Gunners having signed only a player in the ongoing transfer window.
Arsenal lost Aaron Ramsey to Juventus on a free transfer this summer, which has left a huge hole in Emery’s squad.
As per the Sun, Mohammed Elneny is also set to depart the Emirates and join Bordeaux in a cut-price deal, having struggled for game time last season, following the arrivals of Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira.
So, the Gunners boss is seemingly considering recruiting Lemina as a tough-tackling midfielder to add to his engine room. Lemina impressed in his debut campaign at Southampton but couldn’t follow it up in 2018/19.
He missed four months of last season with an abdominal injury and failed to make an impact under Hasenhuttl. Now back to full fitness, though, the Gabonese could really be a solid addition to Arsenal’s midfield ranks.
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A central midfielder by trade, the 25-year-old is a fantastic tackler and ball-winner. He is a good passer of the ball and works hard in the middle of the park to provide as much freedom to the forwards to play their natural game.
The Gabonese, however, is the kind of player that can be frustrating due to his inconsistency and poor discipline, but Emery could be the right manager to iron out his flaws and help the ex-Marseille and Juventus man reach his true potential.
Lemina is 25 and will be entering the prime stages of his career next season. If Emery is convinced that the Gabon international is the right player for his system, then a move to the Emirates has to be the best option for all parties involved.