Player Spotlight: Mario Lemina - Gabonese star faces stiff competition at Southampton

Player Spotlight: Mario Lemina - Gabonese star faces stiff competition at Southampton
Mario Lemina, Southampton

by Austin Ditlhobolo

Tuesday Dec 12, 2017. 16:00

The 24-year-old central midfielder hit the ground running after joining English Premier League (EPL) side Southampton from Italian Serie A giants Juvenus last August.

However, Lemina sustained an ankle injury which ruled him out for over a month. He has made one start since making his return from his injury.

Denmark international Pierre-Emile Højbjerg has been preferred ahead of Lemina in central midfield.

Højbjerg was one of Southampton’s star players as they drew 1-1 with Arsenal in a league match on Sunday, while Lemina was an unused substitute.

HITC has since reported that Højbjerg is likely to start ahead of Lemina when Southampton take on Leicester City in a league game on Wednesday.

“Given the encouragement that the Saints will have taken from that performance, it would not be a surprise if (Mauricio) Pellegrino (Southampton coach) limited the changes for the game against the Foxes.

“That may mean that the likes of Jack Stephens and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg - who were both exceptional against the Gunners - keep their places in the team, while Jeremy Pied and Mario Lemina remain on the bench.

“The one change may come further forward with Sofiane Boufal replacing James Ward-Prowse in attacking midfield.

“On his day, Boufal is capable of making things happen out of nothing, but of course, Ward-Prowse's brilliant set-piece deliveries would mean that it would not be a surprise if he kept his place either,” a statement read.

Lemina has made 10 league appearances for the Saints this season.

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