Well hello there, Southampton. We trust you’ve been enjoying these—what, has it been two months now? about that?—without having a key player linked with a Liverpool move but I think we all knew that wasn’t a situation that could last and it was really only a question of when, not if.
So. About that key player of yours. In this case Mario Lemina, the 24-year-old Gabonese-French midfielder who grew up as a footballer at Lorient and Marseille before moving to Juvetnus and then on to Southampton to prove his suitability
to play for Liverpool in the Premier League.
Yeah. Him. Well, L’Equipe say Liverpool have targeted him now and that Jürgen Klopp sees him as key to an overhauled midfield at the club in 2018-19 alongside the incoming Naby Keïta and with Emre Can still expected to leave and Jordan Henderson’s injury record an ongoing concern.
Lemina, who has spent time in his career as a holding midfielder, shuttling player, and even out wide would seem like a perfect fit for Liverpool given his skill-set seems well suited for what Klopp wants out of his six. He’s not the only player fitting that template who’s being linked, though.
Recently, Liverpool have been rumoured as potential frontrunners to sign Jorginho from Napoli, and both rumours make most sense in the context of strengthening the midfield base—and while neither fit the mold of a midfield destroyer, that isn’t the sort of player Klopp wants at the base.
If Liverpool’s interest in Lemina—or in Jorginho, for that matter—is legitimate, then, it’s likely a case where the club would attempt to sign one of the two and not both; where one might be the club’s Plan A and the other a more than suitable Plan B. And that’s an exciting idea.
Or at least it is for Liverpool fans. For Southampton fans, Liverpool moving for yet another top Saints star after he’s used a season or two at the club to prove his suitability for the Premier League would, well, it’d probably kinda suck. But we reckon they should be used to this by now.