MARIO LEMI nA

Australian Four Four Two - - FEATURES -

Club: Southamp­ton Fee: $31 mil­lion Po­si­tion: Mid­fielder “Wel­come to the Pre­mier League!” It’s not im­pos­si­ble to imag­ine that was what Mark Noble mut­tered un­der his breath when the West Ham scrap­per steamed shin-high into Southamp­ton’s club-record sign­ing from Ju­ven­tus on his Au­gust de­but. Lem­ina’s maiden ap­pear­ance in the English top flight came in the Saints’ 3-2 home win over the east Lon­don­ers – a solid in­tro­duc­tion to a cou­ple of the league’s lesser-hailed hall­marks – namely ro­bust chal­lenges and ques­tion­able de­fend­ing. On the same day Noble was for­tu­nate to avoid a dis­missal, Marko Ar­nau­tovic saw red for el­bow­ing Jack Stephens. The fact Lem­ina led with his arm on Ar­nau­tovic 30 sec­onds be­fore get­ting clat­tered by Noble sug­gests the former Mar­seille mid­fielder prob­a­bly won’t be over­awed by all the blood and thun­der (Mario was or­dered off dur­ing his two-year spell at the Stade Velo­drome for punch­ing a player in the groin). The Gabon in­ter­na­tional is a tidy dis­trib­u­tor of the ball and has of­ten tended to play his best while in the cen­tre, though he has been seen on the right wing, too.

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