Scottish Champions Celtic have allegedly joined the race for Leicester City outcast Fousseni Diabate.
According to the Daily Record, they ‘understand’ that the Mali international will be leaving the King Power this summer and the Bhoys are now considering the winger as a potential signing at Celtic Park.
The 23-year-old is set to leave the club this summer with a host of options sitting above him in the pecking order at Leicester; youngsters Harvey Barnes (21) and Demarari Gray (23) are both preferred options at a similar age, and the club still has the experienced head of Marc Albrighton (29), who will also still get game time this season.
Diabate spent the second half of last season on loan at Sivasspor in Turkey, who are still believed to be monitoring his services before the transfer window closes in a few days. Ligue 1 side Dijon are also reportedly interested, as per reports from Soccerlink.
It’s not surprising to see Fousseni Diabate’s departure nearing a conclusion considering that the player is a long way off this Leicester first team.
Since the player joined the club in January 2018 he has struggled to make a big impact at the club, although he did show some early promise when he first joined.
He has played 15 games in essentially one and a half seasons in the Premier League, coming on in 9 of them and registering a total of one assist (Transfermarkt).
Initially, it looked as if he would have an impact over Leicester over a number of seasons as Claude Puel said just four months or so into his career.
Speaking to Leicestershire Live in April 2018, Puel said: “I am happy with Diabate because he always gives his best.
“Always he gives something with his quickness, quality and technical moves. It is interesting and promising.
“We will see if he has more game time. I am happy with the job he is doing in training and in the game.
“Like Demarai, Marc Albrighton, Riyad Mahrez and Iheanacho, he gives us a different option.
“He is a young player and inexperienced player. He is promising for the future and we have to develop this player.
“He gives us good strengths for the team until the end of the season, also to prepare for next season.”
However, despite these quotes, Diabate failed to get into the team much beyond the end of that season, only playing a single game before being sent out on loan.
Now, it seems there is not the time nor space for Diabate to be allowed to develop and be given chances – mainly down to the amount of competition that is also present throughout the squad.
Brendan Rodgers has essentially confirmed this in a recent interview with the Leicester Mercury (via The Boot Room), saying: “I’d seen a bit of [Diabate]… I’d done my homework on him. It’s one of those where he is a talent, but there are others ahead of him.
“You can only have so many. We’ve got Harvey [Barnes], Demarai [Gray] and Marc Albrighton.”
A move to Celtic could prove fruitful for the youngster as he was fairly impressive in the Super Lig for Sivasspor last season, scoring twice and grabbing three assists in his 16 starts. Indeed, considering the level of competition in wide areas at the King Power Stadium (they have 3 players in the top 30 in the Premier League in terms of dribbles in the shape of James Maddison, Ayoze Perez and Ricardo Pereira, as well as the likes of Demarai Gray, Marc Albrighton and Harvey Barnes namechecked by Rodgers), it’s best he departs.
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