Leicester should give up pursuit of Lemina because of one trait

This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…

From seemingly nowhere, Leicester burst into life in the transfer market over the last week or so, signing both Ayoze Perez and Youri Tielemans.

The Belgian was brought in for a hefty fee of £40m, becoming their record transfer in the process.

His arrival was long awaited after a loan spell in the Midlands last term but according to The Telegraph, another midfielder might well be on his way in.

Early last week, they suggested that Mario Lemina had caught the attention of the Foxes as both Arsenal and Manchester United were touted with an interest too.

But would he actually be a good signing for Leicester?

On the chalkboard

We’ve already detailed how signing Lemina would be incredibly detrimental for Hamza Choudhury but there’s another reason why Brendan Rodgers and his team must forget about landing him.

The Gabonese registered impressive defensive statistics last season, winning 2.3 tackles and making two interceptions per game.

Yet, it’s also an area that actually gets him into trouble.

In the Premier League, he made 1.5 fouls per game, a stat that wouldn’t bode too well for Leicester.

The truth is, they already have plenty of tough tackling individuals, no less so than in Wilfred Ndidi.

The Nigeria international made 3.8 successful challenges a game in the top-flight in 2018/19, whilst committing 1.2 fouls in the process. He was also booked eight times.

Lemina, on the other hand, was cautioned five times in just 21 outings for Southampton.

If you bear that in mind, it makes it incredibly difficult to see how the pair of them could fit into the same midfield.

Rodgers preferred Choudhury next to Ndidi towards the back end of the term but he was a more disciplined individual, making just 0.8 fouls and failing to pick up a single booking.

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The fact that he played in a slightly different manner to Leicester’s midfield mainstay meant two defensive midfielders could happily be used alongside each other.

As a result, if Lemina did arrive it could be a case of one or the other between him and Ndidi.

The fact of the matter is that playing two players who commit as many fouls as they do in the same area could be incredibly detrimental to the way the Foxes play.

Ndidi failed to miss a single game in the league last term, so it would be foolish if they were to put his performances in danger.