Watford have been linked with a move for Mario Lemina recently, and if he were to join Xisco Munoz’s side this summer, it could lead to Will Hughes’ exit from Vicarage Road.
According to Calciomercato, the Hornets have joined the race to sign the Southampton midfielder after he was a regular on loan at Fulham last season as they were relegated back to the Championship.
The Craven Cottage outfit would have had an option to buy the former Juventus man had they managed to preserve their Premier League status, but their relegation means that the Gabon international is now back on the market again this summer as Southampton look to cash in on him permanently after sending him out on loan in recent seasons.
During his time with Fulham, Lemina made 28 appearances in the top flight, contributing only one goal and zero assists and averaging a less than impressive 6.60 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
The report suggests that Watford have already seen a swap deal rejected, so it seems as if they will have to pay somewhere close to his current market value of £9m if they want to bring him to Vicarage Road this summer.
Although his time at Southampton has been something of a disaster, Lemina’s spell at Juventus emphasises that he is not short of ability. Indeed, his impressive performances at Marseille under current Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa earned him that move to England, with the Argentine manager singing his praises in 2015 by saying: “He is a different type of footballer to the majority of footballers.
“He knows how to attack and defend. He offers a lot of solutions to the coach and his team.”
Therefore, if Lemina can rediscover the form he showed before his move to Southampton, then he could be an excellent addition to Munoz’s side, even if it means Hughes potentially departing Vicarage Road. The 26-year-old has been heavily linked with a move away this summer after his impressive performances helped the Hornets to win promotion last season.
Although few Watford fans would want to see the former Derby ace depart, the potential signing of Lemina could well lead to his exit from Vicarage Road this summer, when you consider that they would both play similar roles in Munoz’s side.
In other news… Munoz should seal Watford swoop for £20m “goal king”