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Whitecaps on the verge of signing Lass Bangoura

Oct 28, 2018; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Whitecaps fans celebrate Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Alphonso Davies (67) during the 67th minute of play against the Portland Timbers during the second half at BC Place. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Whitecaps are on the verge of signing Guinean attacking winger Lass Bangoura from Rayo Vallecano, sources told Pro Soccer USA. The winger has since confirmed the transfer on his Instagram profile.

The 26-year-old national team player has struggled to break into Rayo’s first team this season, playing just one game for the Spanish La Liga side’s first team. 

Nonetheless, Lass Bangoura was once considered one of the brightest talents emerging from Guinea. Signed from Etoile de Guinée Conakry in 2010, Bangoura has played 152 games for Rayo and scored nine goals and 14 assists. 

By 2014, however, he was loaned out to Granada, where he played 14 games and scored just two assists. 

The following season meant another loan stint. He was sent to France, where he played for Stade Reims in Ligue 1. Yet another loan followed during the 2017-18 season, this time to the Spanish second division side UD Almería. 

The Whitecaps beat out Cadiz CF for the signature of the winger. Cadiz wanted to sign Bangoura on loan for the rest of the season, and it remains to be seen whether the Caps will sign the winger on a permanent basis or whether this will be yet another loan stint for the 34-time Guinean national team player who had four goals for his country. 

Inconsistent playing style was one of his significant issues at Rayo Vallecano. The Guinean could never truly show his full potential at the Madrid-based club. It appears that after Bangoura’s one appearance this season both sides have now ended that chapter. 

“Bangoura has plenty of unfulfilled potential. He is a great winger and well able to deliver decent assists. Having said that, a little temperamental and can be his own worst enemy when things are not going well,” a source from Spain told Pro Soccer USA.

Judging Bangoura’s skillsets based on this season is difficult. Bangoura’s last appearance was on Oct. 30 in the Copa del Rey against Legánes. In that match, Bangoura played just 20 minutes and had 10 actions, seven completed successfully. 

In order to get a better impression of Bangoura’s attributes, take a look at some key stats over the last three seasons. During that time, Bangoura managed to average 62.57 actions per 90 minutes, of which he successfully completed 52 percent on average. 

Described as a fast and pacy winger, Bangoura won 67 percent of his on average 10.24 dribble attempts. In comparison, Alphonso Davies complete 70.1 percent of his on average 9.81 dribble attempts. Hence, in that regard, Bangoura could help to fill the Davies’ void if he can reach his full potential. 

The same can be said about other attributes. For example, Davies averaged 3.28 crosses, of which 30.2 percent reached their target, last season. Bangoura averaged 4.5 crosses, of which 28 percent reached their mark, over the previous three seasons. 

But to ask the big question: Can Bangoura solely fill the production void left by Davies? The answer based on stats is no. Where Davies scored 0.27 goals and 0.24 assists per 90 minutes last season, Bangoura scored 0.07 goals per 90 minutes and 0.12 assists per 90 minutes over the last three seasons. 

Nonetheless, in conjunction with other attacking signings, which are expected to be announced in the next few days, Bangoura can help to fill the Davies void. 

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