Mario Lemina has been a regular on loan with Scott Parker’s Fulham side this season so far and, if Southampton were hoping to sell the Gabon international, they seem to have been handed a big boost, with it reported recently that the Cottagers were keen on making his stay a permanent one this summer.
According to The Sun, there is growing confidence at Fulham that they will be able to keep hold of their loanees this summer; and considering they have an option to buy Lemina, it seems unlikely that he will be returning to Southampton at the end of the season.
Although Lemina was impressive in Fulham’s recent 1-0 win against Liverpool at Anfield, where he scored the winning goal and earned a superb 8.37 rating for his performance from WhoScored, this has been a rarity for the midfielder this season.
This rates him significantly lower than the likes of James Ward-Prowse, Oriol Romeu and Stuart Armstrong for this season, whilst the October signing of Ibrahima Diallo also suggests that Lemina doesn’t have a future with the south coast club.
It seems clear that Ralph Hasenhuttl is not a big fan of the midfielder, as he was allowed to join Galatasaray on loan last season before joining Fulham on loan for this term.
Therefore, it comes as a welcome boost for vice-chairman Martin Semmens that Fulham are keen to sign him permanently in the summer, as it seems clear that after two loan spells away, the Saints would be keen to axe him in the summer, especially as he reportedly earns £40,000 per week at the south coast club.
Lemina’s form has been indifferent at best for Fulham and, unless Hasenhuttl has a change of heart, it is difficult to see him ever establishing himself as a regular with Southampton, so the Saints may well be glad for this apparent opportunity to get rid this summer.