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Southampton Seals Record Mario Lemina Deal

Southampton has signed Juventus midfielder Mario Lemina, on a five-year club record deal worth £18.1m.

Lemina started his career with French side Lorient in 2012 before switching to Marseille a year later. After breaking into the first team and helping Marseille finish fourth in 2014, he turned down interest from Liverpool, West Ham, and Arsenal to join Juventus on an initial loan move in 2015.

The Gabon International made 42 appearances for the Bianconeri before they opted to make a £7.5m offer to make the deal permanent last summer. Saints vice chairman Reed, told Southampton TV that he believes signing Lemina is ‘a significant statement of Intent from the club’.

“Mario is an outstanding talent who has already achieved a great deal in his career. Winning a number of titles and gaining experience of playing on some of the biggest stages in the world.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Investing in a player of Mario’s quality, and buying from a club like Juventus is a significant statement of Intent from the club, and this is a purchase that has set another club-record fee,”[/perfectpullquote]

Reed said.

“Mario still has his best years ahead of him, and we believe that he will not only be an excellent signing acquisition for us in the immediate future but that he will also be able to realize even more of his potential in the years to come.

“This is a player who has played in the Champions League Final less than three months ago and he chose the saints amidst a host of suitors.”

In the two years with Juventus, Lamina won the Serie A title, two Copa Italia’s and was part of last season’s Champions League Final.

The 23-year-old is predominantly a central defensive midfielder but can also operate as part of the back three – a right wing-back or a right back – which increases the Saints’ options.

Opening up about his move, the 23-year-old revealed why he chose Southampton despite all the interest saying, [perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“I am very happy to have signed for Southampton. I think that it was the project that attracted me the most and my family was really behind me. I am really happy to be here.”[/perfectpullquote]

He was a fan favorite earning a reputation as Juventus’ bad boy from his style play, is not scared to take on a challenge, is aggressive and has timely interceptions.

The total transfer fee will be paid over three years and is believed to be around £16m rising to £18m with add-ons.

He becomes the Saints’ second signing joining Poland’s under-21 defender Jan Bednarek who joined for around £5m last month. He will link up with Mauricio Pellegrino’s side and will likely be part of the side’s league opener against Swansea at the St. Mary’s this Saturday.


Featured Photo: Getty Images

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