As per recent reports, Leicester City are displaying high considerations for Metz FC defender Boubakar Kouyate. The Foxes have kept a close eye on the player along with Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa. Therefore, the two clubs could end up going head to head for the player’s signature.
The former Troyes player joined Metz in 2020. In the same season, the defender made 25 Ligue 1 appearances. The 24-years-old centre-back has already made 15 appearances for his French side this season. The player has earned 14 caps for Mali and also represented his national side in the 2022 AFCON.
The defender’s performances and playing style have attracted interest from several clubs. Amongst all, Brendan Rodger’s team are the favorites to sign the player. However, they are likely to face competition from their Premier League competitors Aston Villa in the race for the Mali international.
Why Boubakar is being highly considered by Leicester
Since his introduction to the Ligue 1 club, the Malian has taken the league by storm. The defender’s displays and statistics have made him a top defender even though his club faces a relegation threat. He is also labeled as the ‘best defender’ in the French league due to his stats.
The player is an efficient CB with great intercepting abilities, as he averages 1.9 interceptions per game. Averaging 2 tackles per game, the Malian is strong in both ground and aerial duels. His passing ability also does not shy away, with him having an 81.5% pass success rate. (stats via WHOSCORED)
On the other hand, the Foxes have struggled this season with their defence with CBs Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu struggling with form due to injuries. Even summer signing Jaanik Vestergaard has failed to make a breakthrough at the King Power Stadium. Therefore, the addition of Boubakar Kouyate will indeed strengthen their backline as the 10th placed team looks to at least grab a Europa League spot.
Leicester’s other transfer activities before the January deadline
While Metz are ready to cash in for Kouyate, there is no apparent rush from the club to offload the player, with his contract with the club lasting till 2024. Even though a doubt hovers regarding the signing of the Mali international, the Foxes are in the meanwhile, readying contract extensions for several of their players.
Despite seeing limited action in recent seasons, full-back Ricardo Pereira is thought to be in line for an extension along with 5 other senior players. Team skippers Kasper Schmeichel, Jamie Vardy, Youri Tielemans, Jonny Evans, and Caglar Soyuncu are all expected to sign fresh contracts before the deadline.
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