Southampton announced the signing of Mario Lemina from Juventus on a five-year deal this week.
The Gabon midfielder has joined the club for a fee of £15.4m with a potential £2.7m worth of add-ons, which could end up eclipsing the £16m Southampton paid Lille for Sofiane Boufal last summer.
I spoke to Goal Italia, Juventus, journalist Romeo Agresti about Saints’ latest addition…
Firstly, what is your initial reaction to the news?
Mario did not do well at Juventus, I’m happy for him, I think he can do well at Southampton, but this sale for Juventus is definitely positive news.
Do you think £18m is a fair price for Lemina?
It was impossible for Juventus to do better. It is a price that I think is very high, the player in Turin struggled with injuries, I think Juventus got the most out of him. We know that the English market is very rich, but considering the Italian figures, that money is so mad.
How did he perform last season?
He did bad things, he also had some injury problems, but he was a player not used by Max Allegri. I think he could have done more because he has so much talent, but in Italy Lemina has failed to prove his value.
Do you think his style suits the Premier League?
Maybe. He needs to regain confidence because, for example, in Marseille he had done very well. Juve worked hard on Mario’s growth, but it didn’t go to plan. But I think that, for Southampton, he is a good player, he needs time to adapt, but he is still young and he can improve a lot.
What qualities would he bring to Southampton?
He is a player who knows how to give speed to midfield, he has good technical qualities, he is very aggressive, but he has to improve a lot from a tactical point of view.
Finally, do you think Southampton have made a good signing?
It’s difficult to answer this question. I think Mario can do well in England but at Juventus he has not left a mark. He gained a winning mindset, which is so important for his career. He did well to choose Southampton, a serious and organised club, but everything depends on him. No excuses.
I’d like to thank Romeo for taking the time to answer my questions and wish Juventus the best of luck this season!