Opinion: Why Newcastle should go in pursuit of their £35m January target this summer


Why Boubakary Soumaré can solve Newcastle United’s midfield woes

According to French portal Le 10 Sport (h/t Sport), Newcastle United were linked with a January move for Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumaré.

However, no deal materialised back then but the report suggests that the Magpies have not yet thrown in the towel in their pursuit of the highly-rated defensive midfielder. Newcastle had offered a bid around the sum of £35m for the Lille midfielder in January, only to be turned down by the Frenchman.

Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare in action. (Getty Images)
Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare in action. (Getty Images)

With the summer market soon around the corner, the Magpies should once again revive their interests in Soumare.

The defensive midfielder has been a vital member of the Lille squad featuring in 21 of their 28 league outings this season, helping them to fourth place in the league table.

He has been a part of 8 out of their 15 wins in the league, making him one of the most significant members in the current line-up. Also, with five clean sheets to his name, Soumare has clearly put his defensive capabilities out in the forefront.

Soumare has been a crucial part of Lille’s Champions League squad too, featuring in all six group stage matches before being knocked out from the tournament.

Boubakary Soumare (Getty Images)
Boubakary Soumare celebrates his side’s victory in the league this season. (Getty Images)

A PSG youth graduate, Soumare’s rise to the Lille senior team has been meteoric. The young midfielder’s talent was out in the open as he played 14 matches in his maiden season after moving from PSG to Lille. Since then, he has grown rapidly to become one of the first-team regulars in the side.

Meanwhile, Bruce’s Newcastle have managed to sustain in the top-flight despite concerns regarding the team’s performance at the beginning of the season. They are now 13th in the table but Bruce would be aware that the side needs some new faces if they wish to improve their performance next season.

Despite having as many as three defensive midfielders, the Magpies have conceded as many as 41 goals this season, prompting Bruce to go in pursuit of Soumare in January.

Also, having played a little ahead in the midfield unlike his usual deep-lying role at times in Lille, Soumare can offer Bruce plenty of options in the middle if they succeed in landing him at St. James Park. Having said that, it would do them a world of good if they rope in someone of Soumare’s mould ahead of next season.

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce reacts angrily on the touchline. (Getty Images)
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce reacts angrily on the touchline. (Getty Images)

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With issues still left to be solved in the middle for Bruce and Newcastle, bringing in Soumare seems like a good option at the moment. Having proved his credentials already, the youngster could add more strength to an inconsistent midfield that has leaked some goals this season.

Moreover, he is young and could develop further under Bruce’s guidance. Hence, Newcastle should once again reignite their interest in Soumare.