Generation Next is our regular feature on Just Football profiling the best young talents in the world. And here’s another to keep an eye on – Atalanta’s bustling midfielder Franck Kessie… Last summer, when Genoa former coach Gian Piero Gasperini made the move to Atalanta, after seven wonderful years spent in Liguria (interjected by spells […]
The Uruguayan centre-back is highly-rated in Spain after impressing for current club Las Palmas, and has been the subject of close monitoring by scouts around Europe this season.
At the start of the 2016/17 campaign, Lemos was named on Just Football as one of our 10 most exciting young talents to watch in Spain’s La Liga this season – part of our annual #JF70 list in which we handpick the 70 best young talents to watch around Europe.
Lemos, 21, has already been the subject of interest from Barcelona in the past. The youngster came through the ranks at Defensor Sporting in his home country before moving to Rubin Kazan and then Spain.
Barcelona were reportedly keen last season, but Lemos is on record stating he turned them down because he preferred guaranteed playing time to riding the bench at a giant club. At such a young age, this could be seen as a wise choice.
Ironically, however, the bench is exactly where Lemos began his career in Spain – albeit on a less illustrious one at the Estadio de Gran Canaria.
Lemos struggled to make the team at Las Palmas, and it is only since December that he has become more of a fixture on the teamsheet. So far this season he has started 16 games for the club, making 20 appearances in total.
That said, since becoming a first team regular the Uruguayan has shown everybody exactly what made him such an exciting prospect in the first place. Lemos is keeping the more experienced David Garcia out of the team, and as well as his robust displays in defence he offers a goal threat too, with four goals to his name this season already.
Such form has not only reawakened Barcelona’s interest, but aroused the attention of other clubs. Including Everton. Per local news site Canarias7.es, the Toffees have expressed interest in Lemos and have his name on a shortlist of targets for Ronald Koeman to acquire this summer.
Acccording to their report, agents and executives close to Lemos recemtly met with directors from Las Palmas to discuss a possible sale of the defender this summer.
Barcelona are thought to be preparing another offer, willing to pay up to €12 million to secure the player’s services, but with a €30m release clause and plenty of interest both in Spain and from English clubs including Everton, Lemos could be a hot property come the summer.