This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
According to Tim Spiers at the Express and Star, Wolves have ended any interest in Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina after the club weren’t convinced on a permanent deal for the 25-year-old.
I gather Wolves have moved on from Mario Lemina. Saints refused to budge on their stance, insisting on a sale. Wolves weren't convinced and wanted a loan plus option #wwfc
— Tim Spiers (@tim_spiers_Star) August 7, 2019
What’s the word?
Wolves have had a decent transfer window so far – bringing in their usual influx of Portuguese talent as well as confirming the permanent signings of Leander Dendoncker and Raul Jimenez, and adding Patrick Cutrone from AC Milan and Jesus Vallejo from Real Madrid.
A sign of the times maybe?
There’s less than 24 hours to go in the transfer market so further deals could be on the horizon.
Lemina is one player that doesn’t look like making the switch to Molineux however as the club stopped their pursuit as Southampton were only prepared to sell the star rather than loan him out.
No panic, Nuno has it under control
That shouldn’t be any bother to Wolves fans though as it shows that manager Nuno Santo is acting wisely in what can usually be a manic few days with the transfer deadline rapidly approaching.
Lemina had his troubles with injury last season, being restricted to just 18 Premier League starts, which is never a good sign to begin with and it’s clear that Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl doesn’t fancy him either after leaving him out of their pre-season squad last month.
Southampton struggled, avoiding relegation by five points as they finished 16th. Why would a bit-part nearly-relegated man be of any worth to a side that will be competing in the Europa League?
Who would he even get game time over? There’s no chance that Ruben Neves or Dendoncker are dropped. Not a chance.
Last season, Lemina and Dendoncker played a similar amount of matches yet it was the Belgian that performed to the level required.
In terms of aerial duels won, Dendoncker recorded nearly double the amount at 2.9 per game whilst he also average more tackles per game (2.8), less fouls per game (0.6) and more clearances per game (1.5) than the Gabon international.
All-in-all, Lemina would have added absolutely nothing to Wolves’ impressive midfield army – between the two mentioned, they have almost every facet already covered.
No Lemina, no problem.