Leicester City’s midfield options after signing Boubakary Soumare

Boubakary Soumare of LOSC Lille and now Leicester City (Photo by Gerrit van Keulen/BSR Agency/Getty Images)
Boubakary Soumare of LOSC Lille and now Leicester City (Photo by Gerrit van Keulen/BSR Agency/Getty Images) /
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Leicester City
Youri Tielemans of Leicester City (Photo by Matt Childs – Pool/Getty Images) /

The progressive force

It is football 101 that a team has got to progress the ball up into the opposition’s defensive third and construct a goal scoring opportunity. On top of this, you have to take advantage of transitions – that time when you are not quite attacking or defending.

That is where your progressive and possessive midfielders come into play. For Leicester City, there is one name which has to be at the front of every fan’s mind. His name is Youri Tielemans, and he is the best transitional midfielder we have.

I need not inform you of his qualities, but I will. With world class passing, defensive determination, and an insane level of consistency, our ‘Starman’ sets the bar high. If you need to get the ball to someone, get it to Tielemans first.

However, previously there has been no real backup for his position. If he is injured, you need to bring in Choudhury to do a similar but different role, knocking the understanding each player has of the system.

Now, Brendan Rodgers will have Boubakary Soumare at his disposal. A young, energetic, disruptive, and ball retaining transitional midfielder. The stylistic difference between the two is the preference of the latter to progress the ball by dribbling into the opposition’s defensive third, then offloading the ball to other players.

Having the option to change the role, while maintaining the core elements of Tielemans’ role, allows the King Power side to defend and attack well, taking better advantage of the transition to create counter attacks.

Of course, there is one more player. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall. At Luton Town, he established himself as a high-pressing, progressive No.6 and No.8 hybrid. He would put in necessary tackles, though not always successful, and pass the ball quickly up field.

That is Tielemans to a tee. He will need more development, but will be a direct like-for-like player when the opportunity arrives.