Leicester City have made their second signing of the summer by bringing in Boubakary Soumare from Lille for an undisclosed fee.
After announcing the arrival of striker Patson Daka from RB Salzburg recently, Leicester now have another new recruit. Soumare has signed a five-year contract at the King Power Stadium after building up his reputation in Ligue 1. At 22 years old, he has a bright future ahead of him.
Soumare was a top target for Newcastle back in January 2020, but has earned a different Premier League move almost 18 months later.
A Ligue 1 title winner with Lille last season, he has sacrificed Champions League football to join Leicester – who will still be able to offer him Europa League participation.
Brendan Rodgers’ side have come close to finishing in the top four in each of the past two seasons. This is the kind of signing that could help them stay in that territory this time around.
A former Paris Saint-Germain youth product, Soumare made more than a century of appearances for Lille. It all ended on a positive note as they pipped PSG to the league title.
Now the Premier League beckons for the France under-21 international.
“I’m really proud to come to the Premier League and a big club like Leicester,” he told their club website. “It’s going to really help me to develop my game and progress as a player. I feel it is 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.”
Soumare pointed to the ambition that last season’s FA Cup winners are showing and the presence of Brendan Rodgers as key factors in his decision to join.
“Leicester is a very ambitious club,” he added. “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.”
Fofana helped convince Soumare
Soumare will also team up with Wesley Fofana, with whom he has played at youth level for France.
He revealed he has spoken to his new teammate and noticing his progression has helped convince him even further.
“I spoke to Wesley about the club, the environment and everything around it and he only had good things to say,” Soumare said.
“He’s already achieved so much with the club in a short space of time and it’s massive. It’s encouraging to see another young French player doing so well after making the move. He’s a great guy.”
Describing himself as a team player, Soumare vowed to give his all for his new team.
“I think the best way to describe myself is a team player who gives everything on the pitch,” he said.
“It was an amazing feeling [to win the league with Lille], a truly unique feeling and I would love to be successful with Leicester in future. It’s given me a desire to achieve more.
“I’m excited to join this Leicester City team. I will give everything for the team and for the club.”