Wolves opinion: Nuno Santo should push hard to sign Boubakary Soumare
According to Get French Football News, Wolves have been dealt a massive blow in their pursuit of promising midfielder Boubakary Soumare, with reports claiming that the Black Country outfit have had a €40million bid for the 20-year-old turned down by Lille.
The same report claims that the Frenchman, who has also been monitored closely by Everton, is keen to stay at Lille and play in the Champions League next season, whilst the club is also reluctant to lose one of their bright emerging prospects.
Born in Noisy-le-Sec, France, to parents of Senegalese descent, Soumare started his youth career at Paris FC before moving on to join the academy of Paris Saint-Germain in 2011.
The promising starlet made rapid progress through the youth ranks at PSG but he found it almost impossible to break into the senior team amidst stiff competition for places from several stalwarts, featuring largely for the reserve side.
Having failed to make the grade at PSG, the 20-year-old made his move to Lille in 2017 and made his Ligue 1 debut for his new club in a 3-0 victory over Metz in November.
Soumare started only 3 games in Ligue 1 in the 2017-18 campaign and made several substitute appearances from the bench before playing a more significant role.
The 20-year-old made 18 appearances in Ligue 1 this past season and contributed with a goal and an assist to help Lille secure a runners-up finish behind champions PSG.
Held in high regard as an immensely talented player with the potential to go on and achieve great things in the future, Soumare has already made a total of 45 appearances in all competitions for Lille.
A youth international for France, Soumare has represented his nation at all youth levels from U-16 to U-20, earning a total of 31 caps in the process, although he still remains eligible to switch his international allegiance to Senegal at the senior international level.
Essentially a defensive midfielder by trade, Soumare has also been used in a box-to-box role in the middle of the park due to his high levels of stamina, work-rate, as well as his ability to win possession back for his team and carry the ball forward with intent.
The 20-year-old is also very calm and composed on the ball and has earned plaudits for his neat passing, whilst his technical abilities are also quite impressive for a player of his age.
To put things into perspective, Wolves seem to have all their bases covered heading into the upcoming campaign, although manager Nuno Espirito Santo is likely to be aware of the need to add more depth to his ranks in order to cope with the challenge of playing in the Europa League.
Wolves, as such, are not in any dire need of bringing in central midfielders at the moment as far as the present first-team scenario is concerned.
Nuno Santo already has enough competition for places in that area of the pitch, with the likes of Leander Dendoncker, Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho and Romain Saiss all in the ranks, but bringing in Soumare as a future prospect could be a smart piece of business.
Neves and Moutinho have established themselves as the mainstays of the midfield over the past year or so.
Wolves are likely to find it difficult to hold on to Neves for too long in the future, given that he has already attracted plenty of interest from bigger clubs. Moutinho, on the other hand, is set to turn 33 next season.
Hence, it probably won’t be a bad idea for Nuno Santo to plan for the future and it is a no-brainer that Wolves need to keep investing in quality young talents to capitalise on the promise that they showed in their first season back in the Premier League.
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Soumare, though pretty inexperienced at the senior level, looks like a real talent and Wolves should make a renewed attempt to sign him this summer, despite their initial approach being rebuffed by Lille.