Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard has been left impressed by Boubacar Kamara in pre-season while he’s pleased with the signing of Ludwig Augustinsson.
Villa have made five signings so far this summer, with Kamara and Augustinsson joining Diego Carlos, Philippe Coutinho and Robin Olsen as additions to Gerrard’s squad, albeit the latter duo were with us on loan last season.
Given one of our biggest weaknesses over the past two seasons has been a lack of physical presence and defensive cover in the No.6 role, Kamara will hopefully establish himself as a key solution in the heart of the Villa XI.
The early signs are good it seems as Gerrard has praised the French international based on what he has seen in pre-season training thus far.
“He’s shown his quality,” he told VillaTV. “We’ve only had two or three sessions from a football point of view, but straight away you can see he’s got really impressive football IQ. You can see he knows the game, he has an impressive game understanding. Technically, he’s a wonderful passer of a ball. It’s really early at the moment and he’s still settling in, getting used to his teammates and getting used to us as a staff. I’m very confident that in time he’ll settle well and be a real good player for Aston Villa.”
Having flown straight out to Australia this week, Kamara wasn’t part of the squad that faced Walsall in our first pre-season game last weekend, and so it’s hoped we’ll get our first look at him in a Villa shirt when we play Leeds Utd on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Gerrard was also asked about our new loan signing Augustinsson who has joined Villa for the season from Sevilla, with an option to buy included in the agreement.
The Swede isn’t expected to be a starter given Lucas Digne’s spot in the side, but Gerrard is clearly pleased with the addition as he believes it could be an important signing to strengthen his squad on and off the pitch.
“Experience,” he added on what the 28-year-old left-back will add. “I’ve said on many occasions that I want as much experience as I can in this group in the dressing room. If we’re to get to where we want to, to achieve our internal targets that we’ve set out, we need experienced players. We need players that have got experience not just on the domestic stage but internationally and in Europe too. We’re bringing in a player who’s a fantastic professional, a good character and he will also push for game time. It’s a real shrewd signing for the Club. I’m looking forward to getting him here, getting him settled and I’m sure he’ll help us over the course of the season.”
Time will tell how much business is left to be done, but Gerrard sounds happy with the signings made thus far, and it’s hoped that with a positive pre-season under our belts, we’ll be ready for the new campaign and can build on his first few months in charge last season.