Leeds transfer news: Bielsa to enter race for £20.7m-rated midfielder

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While Leeds United are making a case to be recognised as perhaps the greatest ever promoted team in Premier League history, the ambition coursing through the corridors at Elland Road seems boundless. 

With owner Andrea Radrizzani thought to be targeting European football in the near future, the Yorkshire giants' first season back in the Premier League looks to be setting them up for a bright future in the top flight. 

According to Football Insider, they're taking some of that ambition into the transfer market. 

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Indeed, they claim Leeds are set to join the race to sign Lille's Boubakary Soumare this summer. 

The club are believed to be looking for a top quality central midfielder (Phil Hay has previously reported on that kind of thing too) and could take advantage of the financial problems Ligue 1 may endure as a result of their broadcasting deal collapsing

Still only 20, Soumare is within 18 months of his contract expiring with the French side and is reportedly of interest to a number of top sides, despite Lille's table-topping form this season. 

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Given Leeds are said to be looking for someone to come and act as both cover and competition in equal measure for Kalvin Phillips, Soumare would be a very good option. 

Able to operate either as a defensive midfielder or a more orthodox central player, a deeper look into some of the statistics speak to a man capable of performing in a high-energy side. Indeed, according to FBRef, Soumare averages 1.81 interceptions, 153.5 progressive yards made while in possession, as well as completing 84.3% of his dribbles. 

Translating that into a Premier League context is obviously no given but those numbers would see him rank the highest of any Leeds midfielder this season. 

So, clearly someone capable of winning the ball back before carrying it forward, Soumare may prove helpful in transition and allow Leeds to counter-attack better, as well as potentially afford Phillips a rest in the holding role every so often. 

Valued at £20.7m by Transfermarkt, capturing him this summer would surely be seen as a coup. Handed his debut by Marcelo Bielsa in 2017, perhaps their journey could continue together in West Yorkshire.  

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