04.05.2016 17:00 - in: Serie A S

    All eyes on the future for Lemina

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    Mario Lemina looks back on a promising first season for Juventus and the prospect of leading the Bianconeri to an even brighter future in years to come

    Defensive dirty work, tough tackles, timely interceptions and not to mention classy finishes, Mario Lemina has shown that he can do the lot in a promising season in the black and white of Juventus.

    It would have come as little surprise then that the Bianconeri swooped to secure the long-term services of the Gabonese enforcer on a four-year deal last week to hand Lemina just reward for an impressive campaign.

    Speaking to Sky Sports Italia today, the faith shown by the club to make his loan transfer from Marseille permanent essentially confirmed what was already an open secret: Mario and Juve are a rather good fit.

    “I had a few injury problems at the start of the campaign and it is thanks to Juve that I overcame them,” he began. “I’m very happy with how the season has gone and for the support I have received from my team-mates.”

    And, after presenting himself to his new public as one capable of filling in anywhere across the midfield back in September, Lemina has succeeded in backing up his confident early season introduction with a string of strong showings in a variety of roles in the Bianconeri’s title run-in. 

    “I’ve predominately filled in for (Claudio) Marchisio in front of the back four this term, but I’ve also felt at home in more advanced positions. I’m learning all the time and I’m confident that I can contribute to the team from anywhere on the field.

    “I’ve had a great year, not only for the two goals that I have scored, but for the overall success of the last nine months.

    “We’ve been terrific to a man but we mustn’t stop here. At a personal level, this is just the beginning and I hope to become a key figure in this team in years to come.”

    The secret to his own personal growth and the club’s historic fifth consecutive league triumph? The atmosphere around the training ground, the experience and support of his colleagues, singling out skipper Gianluigi Buffon, and the tight-knit nature of the Juve dressing room.

    “What sets Juventus apart is their attention to detail in training and in preparing for matches. No stone is left unturned and the entire setup is extremely professional. Naturally at the beginning Paul (Pogba) and Patrice (Evra), both being French speakers like myself, helped me to settle into the squad but now I’d say I get on very well with everyone.

    “If I had to pick out someone who has had the largest impression on me, it would have to be (Gianluigi) Buffon. He has the power to instill belief and confidence in anyone.”

    The final word would be reserved however for the bigger picture: having received both a taste for Serie A silverware and the Champions League this season, Lemina has his eyes on the grandest prize of them all.

    “My dream is to win the Champions League with Juventus. Last time out they were denied in the final and this time we pushed Bayern Munich all the way: all that has been missing is a touch of luck, a big ingredient for any winner of that trophy.” 

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