Needless to say, there have been lots of flops however, broadly, midfielders developed in France are inclined to impress in England. This is the reason the reports asserting Boubakary Soumaré is on his way into the Premier League come as no surprise.
The 20-year-old midfielder has impressed for Lille this year and his performances have captured the eye of a variety of elite clubs. The Paris Saint-Germain academy graduate is thought to be on Chelsea’s wishlist whilst Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Liverpool are believed to be keeping close tabs on his evolution.
The Daily Mail asserts Spurs are trying to jump into the front of the queue by leveraging the connection assistant manager João Sacramento has with Soumaré. José Mourinho’s No.2 was with Lille before linking up with his compatriot in London.
According to reports in France, the midfielder would like to stay with Lille for today but the team are available to selling him if they get an offer in the area of the 70million they pocked from Arsenal for Nicolas Pépé.
It would be a danger to spend that much on a player with only a little over 2,000 Ligue 1 minutes to his title. However, a risk worth taking?
He has only been a starter for Les Dogues this year. He is already showing glimpses of celebrity potential. The longer you wait, the greater the opportunity another club beats you to the punch.
With that in mind, we have decided to have a peek at what all the fuss is about.
Deployed at a double-pivot, Lille direct much of the play through Soumaré. Normally, Christophe Galtier’s side effort 469 passes. Of those, their No.24 is in charge of almost 13 percent.
According to his departure sonar above, the 20-year-old is fairly expressive when in possession. He transforms the ball into both flanks and looks to play moves forward when the opportunity presents itself. He is fairly well-rounded in that sense.
He does not stand up goals or assists, and his anticipated numbers are not anything to write home about, but Soumaré is incisive when in possession.
In the above, the child could pass on the responsibility and perform with a pass into a team-mate, shown by the black arrow. But he chooses to play the killer pass and chooses out Victor Osimhen. The ball won’t create a highlight reel but it reveals his mindset.
Over a quarter of his moves are forward, 27 percent to be exact, and he finds a team-mate with 90.2 percent. Furthermore, of passes attempted in the last third, 85 percent are complete. His use of this ball is exceptional.
Without possession, he is just as great. He is most active in the middle third and will stop the opposition from getting near his defence. Despite being so busy, he is only giving off 1.3 fouls per 90. This may be enhanced but does show he is not a serial fouler. Discipline, however, is an issue for the youngster. He’s been sent off twice this year in Ligue 1. That recklessness has to be worked on. He wants to be a dependable cog in the group.
At the moment, a 70million fee for Soumaré would be excessive but if he continues to control games for Lille, that valuation could prove to be a bargain later on. In order for him to advance, though, he wants to be playing regularly and a move to a big club could see him stagnate. Few of these competing for a top-four place would anticipate the 20-year-old enough to make him an immediate guaranteed starter.
He is one to watch but going for him now would be premature. The Lille man needs additional time in Ligue 1 to match the wealth of potential he has.