Youssouf Diarra Shouldering The Scoring Burden For CD Basconia
There was quite a controversy three years ago when Youssouf Diarra signed for CD Basconia. The Malian had moved to Lleida with his family at the age of seven before eventually joining Txantrea in Pamplona, a partnered club of Athletic, where he caught the eyes of scouts from Lezama.
After scoring 15 goals in 33 games with Txantrea, Diarra was invited to a trial with Athletic where he was signed along with others such as Gaizka Larrazabal and Jon Rojo.
A small group of fans immediately raised questions over whether or not the attacker qualified for Athletic’s unique player policy. Though neither Basque or born in the Basque Country, Diarra had spent time at a local youth which was immediately highlighted by then-president Josu Urrutia who quickly responded to the criticism. Eventually, the issue dissipated.
Diarra is now in his third season with Basconia and has taken positive steps forward each year. The attacker, who can play on the wing or as an advanced midfielder, scored two goals across 24 appearances in his debut campaign followed by six goals in 23 matches the following season. Along with putting the ball in the back of the net, Diarra has also shown the ability to create chances for others and cause problems for defenders with his dribbling.
The 21-year-old has taken his game to another level this season, having already scored 10 goals while featuring in 17 of the team’s 18 matches thus far.
Diarra has been the most important player for Basconia but there has also been concern over the fact that the rest of the team has combined for a mere 13 goals, just three more than Diarra alone. The Naveira brothers, Xabier and Unai, are the only other players to have found the back of the net more than once. With strikers struggling to score, Diarra has had to carry the burden.
Basconia have made significant improvements over the past month and have gone five straight games without a loss to climb to 6th in the table. While the team has been in good form as of late, scoring continues to be an area where other players must contribute more. Ultimately, it will be up to manager Patxi Salinas to find more solutions in front of goal.