Boubakary Soumare interview: psychology, stepovers and learning to run more – The Athletic

By his own admission, Boubakary Soumare is an introvert.

During his fledgling career, several coaches have been able to draw him out of his shell so he can demonstrate his potential. Brendan Rodgers is now trying to do the same at Leicester City.

It hasn’t been easy and the 23-year-old admits that, having been an integral part of the Lille side that broke his childhood club Paris Saint-Germain’s monopoly on the Ligue 1 title, the move to the Premier League has been a big adjustment.

Soumare is quiet and guarded with those he doesn’t trust and rarely speaks to the media, but he sat down with The Athletic to assess his career to date, and his transition from the street football of east Paris to the Premier League.

“When you come here, you have to run.”

Soumare is learning the hard way that the physicality and speed of English football, and Leicester City’s style of play in particular, requires an adaptation. Rodgers loves the high work rate and energy of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall in his midfield but Soumare knows he has to find the same intensity to add to his game.

“It’s the Premier League’s special feature,” he tells The Athletic. “I run but I run less than what you (need to) run in the Premier League. I have to adapt to this style of running, the intensity and all that follows.

“I have to teach myself this football culture. I’m on the right track but once I’m 100 per cent at this level, it will come naturally for me in this league and this team.”

There is every chance that Soumare will be true to his word, that in time he will be able to adapt. He has had to do it all his life. He grew up in the Parisian suburb of Noisy-le-sec to Senegalese parents.


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