Boulaye Dia - Scouting Report
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Boulaye Dia’s career began at Jura Sud, a club that plays in the Championnat National 2, the fourth tier of French league system. His one season at the club drew the attention of scouts from Ligue 1 and Reims in particular – when he amassed a total of 15 goals in 21 appearances for the club. Reims quickly made a move for him on a free transfer in July 2018, where he signed his first professional contract aged 21. The Senegalese striker has quickly grown into an integral part of the Reims squad, becoming the club’s go-to striker in times of need. 

While he took his first season to get adjusted to the pressures of top tier football, Dia has showed the maturity to evolve into a top striker in Ligue 1. In 2020/21, he managed to appear 36 times, playing almost 3,000 overall minutes across all competitions and scoring 14 goals in the process and registering one assist. Naturally, he is way off the top scoring charts sitting in 9th place behind Andy Delort, Kevin Volland and Burak Yilmaz. 

As a centre-forward, Dia might not have shone the brightest as a goalscorer, but his team play involvement possesses one of the best statistics any manager could hope for. He excels with a pass completion rate of 92% - one of the best in the league for any striker – and 75% of his dribbles being successful.
He is an intelligent striker of the ball, capable of overpowering defenders with his physique and holding out play. He is the kind of player who prefers to involve his teammates in build-up play. A modest finisher of the ball, Dia’s composed character helps him pick out spaces ahead of him to put the ball into. He is an explosive striker but can heavily improve his finishing skills to be more clinical. He is clever when making penetrative runs behind the defence in order to break the offside line. Dia can also operate on the wings, specifically on the right wing, but his natural position is of an out-and-out striker. He also has great heading ability for his height, capable of winning aerial duels and challenges. 

While on the backfoot and pressing upfront, Dia makes a valuable contribution. His interception rate is 81% and manages to successfully tackle 66% of challenges. 

Dia has suffered from the lack of input from his teammates when Reims play on the counter attack. To bring the best out of him, it is necessary for him to surround himself with quality midfielders who can provide him with the required assists to improve him goal scoring tally.
He has not been tested so far against world-class opposition and in case he does move to a bigger club in a bigger league, Dia has the ability to excel but it remains to be seen where he will end up in the next few years. One thing is for sure, Boulaye Dia has a future beyond Reims. 

 

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