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Boubakary Soumare has joined Leicester City
Boubakary Soumare has joined Leicester City

Leicester have confirmed the signing of midfielder Boubakary Soumare from Ligue 1 champions Lille for a reported fee of £17million.

Soumare has signed a five-year deal with Leicester, who finished fifth in the 2020-21 Premier League season and won the FA Cup.

The midfielder, who has been capped by France at Under-19, 20 and 21 level, played 32 times in Ligue 1 as Lille won the title for the first time in a decade.

Only five players made more appearances across all competitions for Lille in 2020-21 than Soumare, whose solitary goal for the club came in the 2018-19 campaign.

A combative player in the centre of the park, Soumare attempted 63 tackles last season, with a success rate of 61.9 per cent – ranking him fourth in Lille's squad.

Of Lille midfielders, only Benjamin Andre (2,310) attempted more passes than the 22-year-old, who found a team-mate with 1,778 (86.69 per cent) of his 2,051 attempts.

Only Renato Sanches, who impressed for Portugal at Euro 2020, had a better passing accuracy when delivering into the final third than Soumare (75.24 per cent), though Leicester may well see him as a folly – and potential successor to – Wilfred Ndidi, who enjoyed another superb campaign for the Foxes.

"I'm really proud to come to the Premier League and a big club like Leicester," Soumare told LCFC.com.

"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.

"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."

Soumare is Leicester's second addition of the close season, following the signing of forward Patson Daka from Salzburg.

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LeicesterPremier LeagueLille

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