Two years ago, when the player was still at Juventus, Arsene Wenger opted against trying to sign him despite recommendations from within the club. Instead, he ended up moving to St Mary’s in a deal worth around £18 million.
He made a solid start to life in England under Mark Hughes only for an abdominal injury meant that kept him out for three months to take a toll on his progress. When he returned new coach Ralph Hassenhutl, himself once tipped for a move to the Emirates, was less enamoured. It’s said that he’s happy for the Gabon international to leave this summer.
While Arsenal’s Football Operations team are keen to inject the first team squad with Academy stars it does feel like an injection of experience wouldn’t go amiss, especially in the absence of Aaron Ramsey. Is a Southampton off-cut our level? Perhaps that’s an unfair description.
Speaking last week about his future, the player said: “I still have another three years of contract. But it is true that I do not rule out the possibility of seeing something else.
“The last four months have not been easy for me, with my injury. The coach put his team together. I want to start afresh. So why not leave?
“We have very good discussions with the club. We are in agreement. If I don’t feel good in this project, I can leave.
“They are giving me the opportunity to be able to go elsewhere.”
Lemina would be available for the around about the same sum he cost Southampton and it’s claimed that Manchester United and Leicester are also interested.
Obviously, when you see several clubs linked it does make you wonder if this is just an agent hawking his client to as many parties as possible, but we’ll see.