22-year-old French midfielder Boubakary Soumare, who starred in Lille’s fairytale Ligue 1 win in the 2020/21 season, signed for the Foxes in a five-year deal for a reported fee of £17 million. He arrives in a position that many would consider to be one of Leicester’s strongholds: with the club already employing a number defensive-minded midfielders in Nampalys Mendy, Wilfred Ndidi and Daniel Amartey.
After beginning his career with the Paris Saint-Germain youth side, Soumare went through the ranks of the U17, U19 and the PSG B side before signing for LOSC Lille on a free transfer in 2017. In his four seasons of top level professional football, Soumare has 117 appearances for Lille with one goal and three assists to show for it.
After a disappointing finish to the 2017/18 where Lille did just enough to stay in the league with a 17th place finish, they have performed much better in the following seasons by finishing second, fourth and first in the three seasons that followed. This rise has coincided with increasing impact of Boubakary Soumare: he played 32 matches in the Ligue-winning season compared to 14 in 2017/18.
Boubakary Soumare’s interview with Leicester City
“I’m really proud to come to the Premier League and a big club like Leicester,” Boubakary Soumaré said in an interview with Leicester City upon joining the club. “It’s going to help me to develop my game and progress as a player. I feel like it’s the right step for me.”
“It’s a natural progression for me after the interest Leicester showed. It was the most appealing club for me. I like the way they play football. It was the most logical choice for me. I’m so proud and honoured to join this club. I will give my all to make everyone happy.”
“Leicester is a very ambitious club. When they spoke to me about their plans and what they wanted from me, I knew straight away I wanted to come here. Brendan Rodgers is one of the main factors that made me want to come to the Club. He’s really good at developing young players, he knows them well and gives them their chance. I’ve spoken to him already and it went well.”
Leicester City start their 2021/22 campaign against Wolverhampton Wanderers at the King Power Stadium on the 14th of August.