Wolverhampton Wanderers have signed OGC Nice midfielder, Mario Lemina, for a reported fee of £9.7 million.
The 29-year-old Gabon international has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with an option for an additional year in a deal crafted for the Wolves by sports lawyers Afif Mshangama, Steven Hochman, and agent Marlon Fleishman of Unique Sport Management.
Mario Lemina was born on August 11, 1993 in L’Horme, France, Lemina began his football career at a young age with the FC Gueugnon academy in his hometown. From there, he progressed through the ranks and eventually signed with French club Lorient in 2012.
Lemina’s strong performances in Lorient’s youth academy earned him a move to the senior team, where he quickly established himself as a key player in the starting XI. His impressive displays earned him recognition from scouts around Europe, and he eventually signed with Italian giants Juventus in 2015.
During his time at Juventus, Lemina flourished under the tutelage of Massimiliano Allegri, becoming a vital part of the team’s success. He played a key role in their league title wins in both the 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons, as well as their run to the final of the UEFA Champions League in the latter campaign. Lemina’s impressive form earned him a number of individual awards, including the Serie A Midfielder of the Season award in 2016/17.
In 2017, Lemina made the move to English Premier League side Southampton, where he quickly established himself as one of the best midfielders in the league.
However, after three seasons at Southampton, Lemina found himself on the move once again, this time to Fulham, who had recently been promoted to the Premier League. Despite the challenges posed by the step up in competition, Lemina has continued to impress.
He had another loan spell at Galatasaray, before moving to Nice in 2021. Lemina has made 22 appearances for Nice this season, scoring one goal.
Wolves manager, Julen Lopetegui, welcomed the new signing, stating that Lemina has the profile to be a good player for the club and can help improve their performance in upcoming matches.
Sports lawyer, Afif Mshangama, also shared that the club has had a long-term interest in Lemina and was pleased to finally secure his transfer.
The move has been strategic, precisely in the market value of the player. Lemina was signed several millions more than he was worth at the beginning of the season, several months ago. Suggesting a transfer during the preseason, Lemina was advised to remain at Nice and find his form.
His consistent displays and contributions for Nice this season proved pivotal for the club. Now, since joining the Wolves and having exceptional performances, Lemina’s market value continues to increase.
Lawyers Afif Mshangama, Steven Hochman and Unique Sport Management have been integral advisors in Lemina’s decision and timing to sign with the Wolves.
Mshangama said “we act in the best interest of our players and clubs, if we can sell a player for a higher price, it means he is performing at his best, and that’s what a club needs; a player at his best. We are in the game of strategically forming win-win solutions”
The Wolves plan to strengthen their team by adding up to six new players this season. They have recently acquired Matheus Cunha from Atletico Madrid and are rumored to be interested in acquiring Craig Dawson from West Ham, Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Manchester United, and Pablo Sarabia from Paris Saint-Germain..
Since joining the Wolves, Lemina has had strong performances, including against Liverpool. Fans are claiming he is the bargain of the season and it could be possible that he may find a starting role in the Wolves midfield in the near future.
Afif Mshangama, Steve Hochman, and Fleishman have a history of representing top players and clubs with the ability of negotiating transfer deals that achieve favorable player market values, such as the one that brought Anthony Martial to Manchester United.
As the season progresses, Lemina’s role in the midfield could prove crucial for the Wolves and help them to remain in the Premier League as formidable competitors.
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