Assessing Boubacar Kamara’s strengths and weaknesses amid Manchester United transfer reports

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We look at what the Marseille midfielder could potentially bring to the Red Devils’ team.

Manchester United have enquired about the possibility of bringing Boubacar Kamara to Old Trafford, according to reports.

The Frenchman came through the ranks at Marseille, and with his contract set to expire at the end of the season, looks destined to join a new club either this month or next summer.

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United seem one of the most likely destinations for Kamara, who could represent Ralf Rangnick’s first signing since being appointed interim manager.

We’ve had a look at what Kamara could bring to the United team.

Kamara has played 24 times for Marseille this season. Credit: Getty.Kamara has played 24 times for Marseille this season. Credit: Getty.
Kamara has played 24 times for Marseille this season. Credit: Getty.

What are Kamara’s strengths?

Firstly, if Kamara were to join United, they’d be getting a hungry player who has plenty of potential to develop, aged just 22. He’d also represent a relatively cheap option given his contract situation.

Kamara is a consistent performer and has missed just three league games this season, the same number in the whole of 2020/21. The No.4 primarily plays at the base of midfield but can also operate at centre-back, a position he played when he broke into the Marseille team as a teenager.

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Therefore, it’s no surprise that it’s in defence where Kamara’s statistics excel. Whoscored rate his main strengths as aerial duals, passing, tackling, concentration and blocks.

FBref also analyse statistics among ‘positional peers’ from the top five leagues in Europe, with Kamara ranking in the top seven percentile for passes attempted and completed, while with 2.75 tackles per 90, he also posts impressive numbers in that area.

The website claim Kamara is similar in style to the likes of Oriol Romeu, Rodri and Fabinho, players who are robust tacklers but also solid in possession.

Kamara played against Manchester City in the Champions League last season. Credit: Getty.Kamara played against Manchester City in the Champions League last season. Credit: Getty.
Kamara played against Manchester City in the Champions League last season. Credit: Getty.

What are Kamara’s weaknesses?

It’s offensively where Kamara’s numbers struggle. Despite being a midfielder, he has scored just once this season and hasn’t registered a single assist. The French Under-21 international also failed to net at all last campaign and provided just two assists.

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His stats for shot-creating actions, dribbles completed and shots taken are in the lower half of his ‘positional peers’.

Pressures and blocks also rank relatively low, although this could be explained by Marseille’s playing style and no side press less in the league than Jorge Sampaoli’s, while only Paris-Saint Germain have had more touches of the ball this season.

Would Kamara be a good signing for United?

There’s no doubt United need reinforcements in midfield, and Kamara offers a young and cheap option for the Red Devils.

The 13-time Premier League champions have struggled to stop opposition teams dictating the flow of games, and they desperately need a player who can stop attacks from building. Judging by the stats, that’s what Kamara could bring, although his numbers in terms of pressing would have to be massively improved.

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That Kamara is also comfortable in possession is an added bonus, and a midfield where Kamara sits, Scott McTominay offers the legs and pressing aspect, and Bruno Fernandes brings creativity, could be a hugely successful trio.

However, whether the transfer will become a reality remains to be seen over the next week.

Stats sourced by FBref, Whoscored and Tranfermarkt.

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