Leicester City added central midfielder Boubakary Soumare to their squad this transfer window, spending £18m to get the former Lille man to the King Power Stadium. After 3 solid and promising seasons in the Ligue 1 he now looks to show his ability in England.
Soumare is known for being an all round midfielder who’s key attributes are his passing in the attacking build-up and his ability to keep the ball that really makes him stand out to other well rounded midfielders. He doesn’t get the goals or assists but contributes heavily with his ability in his distribution of the ball.
He played the entire first half for Leicester in his debut vs Burton and it was a promising outing but that wasn’t without a few questions despite it being a friendly.
Soumare plays most of the time on the left side of the pitch and usually receives the ball from the left centre back in the first phase of Leicester’s attack. He is athletic and sharp in his movement with good aesthetic technique that can be compared to Tanguy Ndombele in some areas.
The former Lille midfielder was composed when pressed and will take his time when distributing the ball, and 1 concern is does he take too many touches before passing? in the 1st phase he does take extra touches as he weighs up the options in-front of him, but the further he gets up the pitch the more efficient he is with his touches.
It will depend on your own expectations of Soumare to say if he is a good signing or not, he is not the new N’golo Kante or Wilfried Ndidi. More outing will need to be seen to make a real judgement but it may take a few Premier League games to get used to the new league and playing with his team mates before he makes a big impact in this Leicester side.
His ceiling is a playing 95% of league minutes, showing brilliant pass accuracy, solid defensive work in transition and winning loose balls, overall being a good distributor and creating attacks. I don’t think goals or assists will come to his game but a respected midfielder who gets a minimum 7/10 every game is what fans can hope for.
A more realistic expectation is Soumare to play around 25 league games and have some really good spells through-out and to really show his best work in the 2nd half of the season as he adapts to his new environment. His progressive play may not translate to the Premier League straight away but as he understands and adapts he will find his form and become a good player at Leicester and under Rodgers.