Manchester United are now being linked with a move for Mario Lemina.
The Southampton midfielder has a very interesting history playing with, against Paul Pogba, even replacing him once already.
Lemina, 25, has not been named on Southampton’s pre-season tour after demanding a move.
The Southampton Daily Echo report United have enquired after Lemina.
Agent talk? Probably, and he’s not a marquee name who would transform our midfield.
He is a good player though, as he showed with an outstanding performance against Pogba and United at St Mary’s last year in a 2-2 draw.
Lemina would be a replacement for Nemanja Matic if that was the direction United wanted to go in.
No Pogba replacement
Lemina is too defensive minded to replace Pogba’s role at United.
He was at pains to point this out after Pogba left Juventus in 2016.
Having joined Juventus in 2015, Lemina said he wanted to be like his former France under-21 teammate.
He told Football Italia: “I am very happy to be Pogba’s teammate, as I’ve known him since we were together in the France youth teams. It’s great to see his daily improvement and I hope to be like him one day.”
Pogba signed for United a year later, and Lemina was quick to distance himself from fitting into the role.
He told Calciomercato: “I am not the replacement of Paul Pogba, he made great things here, replacing him will be hard.”
Lemina being sold to Southampton a year later shows Juventus did not see him as indispensable either.
It would be naïve to think bringing Lemina in to United might make Pogba want to stay, given that he left him behind once at Juventus.
If this was in United’s thinking then it would be flawed strategy.
As a replacement for Matic, Lemina might be an upgrade, but it wouldn’t solve the big problems.