Southampton continue to axe some of the deadwood from their squad this summer, with Mario Lemina the latest player to complete a permanent move away, as he joined French Ligue 1 side Nice.
After spending recent seasons out on loan with Galatasaray and Fulham, it always seemed likely that the Gabon international would depart this summer, as Hasenhuttl made it clear that he wasn’t the sort of player he wanted in his squad.
Although that is a significant loss on the £18.1m Southampton paid to sign him from Juventus in 2017, owner Jisheng Gao will be surely delighted to get Lemina off the books at St Mary’s due to the wages he was receiving, whilst fans will be hoping that the money earned will go towards bringing in a new player at Staplewood this summer.
During his four years at Southampton, Lemina would make just 52 appearances, contributing two goals and two assists from midfield.
His performances at Fulham last season, where he made 28 appearances in the top-flight and averaged a less than impressive 6.60 rating from WhoScored perhaps confirmed that he was not cut out to be a Premier League player with Southampton, so fans will be delighted to see him go.
The Saints have already been able to get rid of the likes of Wesley Hoedt and Angus Gunn and whilst these were very much fringe options in Hasenhuttl’s squad, it seems clear that the Austrian will have to bring in replacements before the new season starts, or risk struggling again as the squad does lack depth.
Southampton look thin in terms of central midfield options, with James Ward-Prowse, Oriol Romeu and Ibrahim Diallo arguably the only natural senior options in that position, so whilst Lemina was clearly deadwood and needed to go, the Saints should perhaps be looking to add another player in the middle of the park before the transfer window shuts.