Manchester United are in the market for a new mid-fielder. They have been looking for one after missing out of Bruno Fernandes in the Summer of 2019.
Manchester United are sending scouts to France to check on Lille’s deep-lying mid-fielder, Boubakary Soumare. Ole Gunnar Solkjaer is adamant in improving his mid-field in January and Lille would be open to selling their player. Soumare has been one of the emerging talents of Ligue 1 this season.
As a result, the French youngster has caught the eye of many major clubs. Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, and AC Milan have all looked at Soumare over the last few weeks. Solskjaer, though, appears to now be at the front of the queue of clubs keen on the French Under-21 international, who came through the ranks of Paris Saint-Germain before joining Lille in 2017.
What’s so good about Boubakary Soumare?
Soumare has played 17 league games along with 6 champions league appearances already this season. And he is just 20 years old. Many pundits claim that Soumare can be the next Paul Pogba. The Frenchman is a very modern midfielder in that sense. He combines an impressive athletic capacity with a distinct techniques to play a rather specialist role. His first touch is excellent and allows him to be positive with the ball once he receives it. He tends to see a lot of it too with plenty of his passes made forwards rather than opting to play it safe. It’s worth noting that his success rate when he does go in to challenge opponents places him as the seventh-best performer from the group, though.
Similarities to Paul Pogba
The French International is very similar to Paul Pogba. Even in terms of height, Soumare is just an inch shorter to Paul Pogba. Both midfielders are gifted with excellent technical abilities and imposing physiques. Rather than being awkward or rigid like tall and broad players, he too is a footballer at his best when he can show off his graceful control of the ball at his feet. Soumare is also similar to Pogba in his relative lack of defensive contributions in midfield. The pair often rely on others to make more of an impact when possession is lost.
While the United midfielder is known for the threat he can offer to his team in the final third, Lille’s box-to-box prodigy does not have the same impact when on the attack. He is not the player to find solutions to break down a stubborn defense. Instead, his influence is in deeper positions as the midfielder who can get the ball into the final third for others to then create chances based on his hard work in the center of the pitch.
Bruno Fernandes has been on Manchester United’s Wishlist since the summer of 2019. Tottenham have also been linked to the Portugal international. Solkjaer has openly claimed that he is interested in Bruno Fernandes.
A deal for either Bruno or Soumare is bound to happen. Manchester United already dealt one blow when they missed out on Eric Halland’s signature to Borussia Dortmund. They wouldn’t want something like that to happen again.
Bruno Fernandes has been exceptional for Sporting Lisbon. In 15 league appearances, he has been involved in as many goals and assists. Overall, Bruno has scored 61 times and assisted another 50 in just over 130 appearances for the club. He is expected to complete his United move by the end if the weekend. Even Rio Ferdinand took to twitter to appreciate Bruno Fernandes urging United to move for him as quickly as possible.
Christian Eriksen, Van de Beek, and James Maddison are other potential targets for United. However, united ruled out a move for Eriksen and will be looking to sign him if at all in the summer for free. Real Madrid swooped in for Donny van de Beek and are almost certain to sign him in January or next summer. Leicester and Brendon Rodgers confirmed that James Maddison will not be behaving the foxes in January. Hence a move for the English creative midfielder is only possible in January.