Manchester United have been linked to a whole host of footballers since the summer; many have no chance of becoming true but others seem to have something to them with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer taking a different stance when it come to the rebuild of the Old Trafford club. Boubakary Soumare of Lille is a player who was linked to the club last week, after being linked at the tail end of 2019.
The 20-year-old is reportedly ‘due to decide between United and Chelsea‘ before the end of the month. Lille will face Paris Saint-Germain on the 26 January and nothing will be decided before that match. It almost sounds the same as Bruno Fernandes and the fact he was going to play for Benfica before leaving Sporting CP, which again turned into nothing – as it did in the summer. Rumours following the same script, maybe?
Arsenal were said to be interested in the player but last week they removed themselves from contention and both Real Madrid and Valencia followed suit. Soumare played against Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League this season, seeing Lille lose 2-1 to the London club. He is a box-to-box midfielder and has been likened to Paul Pogba, a player who himself is linked with an exit from United, however not in this transfer window.
Soumare, 20 has key attributes which include ball recovery, winning possession and his general distribution. Based on that, before even thinking about United’s thin midfield offering this season, he would seem to be a player, based on his attributes, that would fit into this team and help raise the club’s game massively. United have so few options in the midfield, which will be the same for at least a month.
This season, Soumare has played in a total of 25 matches for Lille, playing in Ligue 1, the Champions League and the Coupe de la Ligue. The Frenchman has one assist to his name this season, playing 1,748 minutes of football. When he’s compared to Pogba, it is in a much different way as the French World Cup winner can create and score goals, whereas Soumare, at this time, is not offering that.
Soumare has played 64 times in his career so far at first team level, scoring one goal in total, one assist playing 3,525 minutes of football in total. He may not be the big name that some crave – which is also a direction that has not worked all that well in the past but in saying that, United could have a player similar to Soumare in the club’s academy; James Garner and Dylan Levitt, for instance.
If Soumare was a valid option for United, his passing accuracy, currently 89.1%, could help with United lack of creativity and work well with the pace available at the club. However, with creativity also lacking at the club, just bringing in Soumare would not solve the major issues that United are suffering from at this moment in time. If he was part of two or three transfers this month, it might be worthwhile.
However, the possibility of two or three players coming to the club this month seems to be slim. United have not yet been able to secure the signing of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting, despite speculation being rife over the past two weeks. If Ed Woodward cannot sign a player the club needs, despite that player being available, how could he sign a player that would need convincing to join the ailing club?
The main thing is that United is a club that has not been invested in by the owners and with the debt the club is currently in and the fact that star players, such as Pogba, seem unhappy, it could spell bad times heading to the club. Of course, it all gets worse before it gets better but the depths United have plunged since Sir Alex Ferguson retired more than six years ago may not be anything yet.