Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Mario Lemina has become a ‘valuable member of the team’ since his arrival, journalist Dean Jones has suggested to GIVEMESPORT.
The 29-year-old’s impact at Molineux has perhaps caught many people by surprise given his previously underwhelming spells in the Premier League with both Southampton and Fulham.
Wolverhampton Wanderers news – Mario Lemina
According to BBC Sport, Wolves splashed out €11 million (£9.7 million) to sign Lemina from Ligue 1 outfit OGC Nice in January.
The Gabon international signed a two-and-a-half-year contract worth around £140,000-per-week that also includes the option of a further 12 months.
Lemina has quickly established himself as one of the first names on Julen Lopetegui’s team sheet, helping Wolves move away from the relegation zone in recent weeks.
And the defensive-minded dynamo’s performances may have shocked some of the Midlands outfit’s fan base.
What has Jones said about Lemina?
Jones has told GMS that Lemina put in a great display against Tottenham Hotspur last time out and that he will have earned some ‘fondness’ among the Wolves faithful as a result.
He said: “I think some people will definitely be shocked by him; he’s becoming a valuable member of the team. And at the weekend, he did a proper job on basically locking up Harry Kane, making sure he barely got a kick.
“So, I think that would have been important and certainly he will have a fondness now with a lot of Wolves fans for the specific roles he’s been given within that team.”
How well has Lemina been playing?
Lemina hasn’t spent a long time anywhere in his career, experiencing short stints at several clubs including Galatasaray, Juventus, and Marseille.
And the 6 foot ace has been putting in some of his most impressive displays in recent years throughout 2022/23 for both Nice and Wolves.
As per FBref, Lemina has ranked in the 94th percentile for blocks, 92nd for clearances and pass completion, 87th for tackles, and 84th for interceptions amongst his positional peers over the last 12 months.
Lemina did receive a harsh red card for two yellow cards in quick succession against relegation-rivals Southampton, though, forcing him to miss the shock defeat at home to Bournemouth.
But Wolves have won four and drawn one of the games Lemina has featured in for them, highlighting his influence on the pitch.