In recent weeks, Manchester United have been linked to Marseille’s defensive midfielder, Boubacar Kamara. The Frenchman’s current deal at Marseille will expire at the end of the season so his availability has pricked the ears of the decision-makers at United.
Date of Birth: 23/11/1999 (22)
Position: Defensive Midfielder
Strong Foot: Right
Height: 1,84 m (6″0)
Who is he?
Kamara is a 22-year-old highly-rated French defensive midfielder currently playing for Ligue 1 side Olympique Marseille. Progressing through the ranks at Marseille, the midfielder has played 141 times for the French club. He has also represented France from U17 to U21 level but is yet to make his senior debut for the 2018 World champions. Over the last few weeks, the highly-rated Frenchman has been strongly linked to many European clubs, including Manchester United. With his contract at Marseille expiring in the summer should he not find a transfer in January, it looks likely that he’ll leave the French club as a free agent at the end of the season.
StrengthsEmbed from Getty Images
Kamara possesses all the attributes needed to be a world-class defensive midfielder of the future. He’s calm and composed with the ball at his feet and has a great passing ability. His strengths lie within both long- and short-range passes and has completed 90% of his passes in Ligue 1 this season. Kamara also displays a strong ability to maintain possession under pressure. The Frenchman is a strong tackler and is among the best tacklers in his position. Kamara is also a decent presser and also quite impressive aerially. Kamara also has great decision-making and has great tactical awareness, a very impressive attribute for a player of his age. The 22-year-old started his career as a centre-back before making the switch to defensive midfield during 2020 so his versatility is also an attribute.
WeaknessesEmbed from Getty Images
Kamara has very few weaknesses however he’s not the best ball progressor. He doesn’t tend to make enough progressive passes nor progressive carries. He also struggles in big spaces, particularly out of possession as he tends to get bypassed too easily at times. It’s key to remember though he is still only 22 years of age, and he will continue to improve over the next few years.
Where would he fit in?
It’s quite obvious that Manchester United’s biggest issue is the lack of a specialist defensive midfielder as the only specialist defensive midfielder at the club is 33-year-old Nemanja Matic. Kamara could solve that issue for the Red Devils. It’s difficult to say exactly where he’d play as it’s unknown who’ll take the helm at Old Trafford next season but he could play in both a double pivot and as a lone defensive midfielder as he has experience in both roles. His experience at centre-back also means he could slot in at the back if ever required to.
It seems the United are certainly monitoring Boubacar Kamara’s situation. The Frenchman would be a great option for the defensive midfield role. The club wouldn’t have to pay anything as he’ll most likely be a free agent in the summer and he is also still very young. However should the club take the decision to bring him in in January a fee of around £20m should suffice. As he does depart on a free in the summer it would be in Marseille’s best interests to recoup a fee in the winter window.
However, it’s difficult to be sure about who United’s transfer targets are due to the uncertainty surrounding who will take the managerial role at Old Trafford on a permanent basis when Rangnick’s term as interim is concluded at the end of the season. Rangnick has hinted that he may feel he is the best option for the moment but what will happen is all speculation at this point in time.
United have also been linked to the likes of RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara, West Ham’s Declan Rice, AC Milan’s Frank Kessie, whose contract at Milan also expires this summer, and others to fill the defensive midfield role at Old Trafford. Kamara has also been earmarked as one of the replacements for Kessie should the Ivorian leave Milan. With many clubs interested in signing this type of midfielder we can only strap in and see where this transfer merry-go-round takes us.