psychology, stepovers and learning to run more – The Athletic

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By his own admission, Boubakary Soumare is an introvert.

During his budding career, several coaches were able to bring him out of his shell so that he could 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 boyhood club Paris Saint-Germain’s monopoly on the Ligue 1 title, the switch to the Premier League was a big adjustment.

Soumare is calm and cautious around 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 street football from the east of Paris to the Premier League.

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

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

“That’s what makes the Premier League special,” he told The Athletic. “I run but I run less than you (need to) run in the Premier League. I have to adapt to this style of running, the intensity and everything that comes with it.

“I have to learn this football culture on my own. I’m on the right track but once I’m 100% 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 over time he will know how to adapt. He had to do it all his life. He grew up in the Parisian suburb of Noisy-le-sec of Senegalese parents.

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