Southampton must make selling Mario Lemina their January transfer window priority

Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina produced another disappointing display in his side’s 2-0 defeat against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, and the south coast outfit’s priority in the January transfer window should be to offload the Gabon international.

What’s the word, then?

Well, Saints would have been excited when they completed the signing of the Juventus man in the summer of 2016 just months after he had come on as a substitute in the Champions League final.

However, while Lemina clearly has plenty of talent, there are also plenty of questions marks over his attitude and his consistency, and he has perhaps only produced a handful of performances for Southampton, who should sack Mark Hughes and look to bring in a 43-year-old former Saint who would improve their defensive record, that show the quality that he does have in his locker.

One of those certainly didn’t come at Molineux at the weekend, where he often went missing and gave the ball away cheaply in key areas, while he made just one tackle compared to the six by his central midfield partner Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

Why do they need to sell?

It seems apparent that Lemina is a player that can be brilliant when the team is in form but will go missing when the going gets tough, and unfortunately for Southampton it appears as though their season is likely to reflect the latter more than the former after winning just one of their opening seven Premier League matches this term.

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Both the 25-year-old’s on-pitch and off-pitch demeanour will have been questioned previously given he is a big social media user, and if he continues to not be influential on a regular basis then Saints would be better off with another battler in Oriol Romeu alongside the impressive Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the centre of the pitch.

Despite his issues, you would think that the south coast outfit should also be able to get a decent fee for Lemina in the New Year, and it could allow them to either strengthen at the heart of their backline or their attack – two areas that still look to need some attention.