Nottingham Forest are reportedly considering a move for Leicester City midfielder Boubakary Soumare and the Frenchman could be an excellent addition to Steve Cooper’s side.
According to Foot Mercato, both Palace and Forest are keeping an eye on the midfielder’s situation, with Leicester open to selling the 23-year-old after a disappointing first season at the King Power Stadium.
The Foxes signed the player for £23m and the Daily Mail claims they’d be open to selling should any team meet their valuation.
Cooper has already spent big on midfielders so far this summer, with Orel Mangala, Lewis O’Brien, Remo Freuler, Morgan Gibbs-White, Cheikhou Kouyate and Jesse Lingard all making the move to the City Ground.
While Soumare struggled in his debut season in Brendan Rodgers’ side, making just 12 starts in the Premier League and averaging a poor 6.41 rating from WhoScored, his performances at Lille suggest that he could be a stellar addition to Cooper’s side, one he would surely love to have available to him.
The young Frenchman made 32 appearances for Les Dogues in their title-winning season, winning an impressive 1.4 tackles per game, the highest of any midfielder in their squad. That tough-tackling nature won him plenty of plaudits from pundits for his performances.
Ligue 1 expert Ian Holyman was full of praise for the midfielder when he made the move to Leicester, saying: “He was a bit in and out of the side but when he first came into the team he looked very, very good indeed.
“As I said, he’s a powerful guy, 6ft 2ins, really athletic, but he’s also got ability on the ball. He’s not just about being a midfield destroyer.”
Soumare hasn’t been offered many first-team opportunities at Leicester and with regular football at Forest, he could rediscover the form he showed at Lille.
Rodgers was highly complimentary of Soumare when he made his debut in a win against Manchester City, saying: “He’s very good on the ball, but he’s physically good as well.”
With that in mind, Cooper would surely love to arm himself with Soumare. Indeed, he has also shown a preference for working with younger players in his career, winning the World Cup with England U17s, so the Leicester man would fit that mould as a youngster with the potential to become a first-class performer.
While his first season at Leicester didn’t go to plan, he would add more depth as a defensive-minded midfielder in the manager’s squad, and with the right coaching and game time, there is no reason why Soumare can’t realise his potential in a Forest shirt.