Mario Lemina was granted permission by the Gabonese Football Federation to miss his country’s friendly game against Zambia to ensure that he will be available for Southampton’s upcoming game against Brighton and Hove Albion.

Gabon clashed with Zambia on Tuesday but were without Lemina who, along with Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, missed the game to focus on his condition for his club’s upcoming matches.

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Lemina has been in strong form for Southampton in recent times and appears to be a key component of Mark Hughes’ plans for the team.

The former Juventus star is likely to line up alongside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in central midfield for the Saints’ next fixture against Brighton and Hove Albion, which will take place on Monday evening at St Mary’s Stadium.

Gabon missed the influence of Lemina and Aubameyang respectively, as they were defeated 1-0 by Zambia.