Man United beating AC Milan to sign this highly-rated 21-year-old starlet would be a great investment

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Why Boubakary Soumare would be a great long-term signing for Manchester United

According to the Sun, Manchester United are set to battle AC Milan in the pursuit of Boubakary Soumare. The Red Devils are said to be long-term admirers of the Lille midfielder and have kept him in their sights since last summer. However, it is also being said that Lille are reluctant to let him leave before next summer.

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Born in Noisy-le-Sec, France, to parents of Senegalese descent, Boubakary Soumare rose through the youth ranks of Paris Saint-Germain before joining domestic rivals Lille in 2017 in search of a quicker route to first-team football.

The 21-year-old only played a bit-part role in his first couple of seasons at the club but managed to establish himself as a regular starter during the COVID-curtailed 2019-20 Ligue 1 campaign. Soumare featured 20 times last term as Lille finished 4th in the French top-flight and qualified for the Europa League.

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

The French U-21 international also started each of Lille’s six games in the group stages of the 2019-20 UEFA Champions League. Christophe Galtier’s side finished bottom of the group but Soumare more than held his own in front of more experienced players in Europe’s elite club competition.

Soumare can be a good replacement in case Pogba leaves

Paul Pogba has grown into becoming one of Manchester United’s most influential players this season. Despite that, Mirror reports that the club are resigned to losing him. They have accepted the fact that Pogba will not extend his stay beyond 2022 and selling him next summer could be on the cards.

In the event Pogba does end up leaving, it would create a huge deficit in the midfield. While United do have a good reserve of central players, not a lot come close to Pogba’s ability. Adding another midfielder with potential means that Boubakary Soumare is a good choice.

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Boubakary SOUMARE lil FOOTBALL : Saint Etienne vs Lille – Ligue 1 Uber Eats – 29/11/2020 FEP/Panoramic

Soumare is a bit different from Pogba though, in terms of his positioning and playing style. He is more suited to playing in a deeper and defensive role. Yes, he has played in a more advanced role on certain occasions but the deeper role is more natural to him.

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Although United might not get a like-to-like replacement in Soumare, he is one with a lot of potential. His numbers may not reflect that but rest assured he does his job with gusto.

His addition to the side may allow more attack-minded players to be fielded. While it would have been good to wrap up a deal in January, Manchester United can still afford to wait until next season to actively pursue him.