Aston Villa have wasted no time in signing reinforcements this summer, with Boubacar Kamara and Diego Carlos emerging as two vital additions to Steven Gerrard’s squad.
It began with the signing of Philippe Coutinho on a permanent basis last month, and after the Brazilian scored five goals and provided three assists in 19 Premier League appearances last season, he’ll look to build on that and find more consistency.
Robin Olsen has also been signed permanently after his loan spell in the second half of last season, and so Gerrard has added key pieces to his squad for the long-term project, and has seen the club hierarchy back him in the window beyond that.
With Kamara and Carlos secured as two marquee signings already, what will the pair bring to the Villa XI next season?
Boubacar Kamara adds midfield steel, defensive protection for Villa
One of the key weaknesses for Villa over the past two seasons has been our lack of solidity, physical presence and defensive protection in midfield, more specifically in the No.6 role.
For all of Douglas Luiz’s technical quality, the Brazilian midfielder has struggled in the defensive phase of the game, and that in turn has contributed to a lack of balance in the side and a key concern in the heart of the XI.
In Kamara, Villa now hope to have that physicality, athleticism, defensive solidity and technical ability all rolled into one player, who can establish himself as the heartbeat of the side and make a pivotal contribution in both phases of the game.
As seen in the statistics below from his campaign in Ligue 1 last year, the French midfielder has the all-round game to be our solution in the No.6 role, and with the level of faith and desire shown by Gerrard and Villa to bring him to the club, it is clear that he has a vital part to play moving forward.
While he’s certainly adept at building our attacks and shifting the ball quickly into the feet of teammates further up the pitch, his defensive qualities which include a strong awareness of danger and good positioning, will also give more freedom to our full-backs in Lucas Digne and Matty Cash to get forward and be more of an attacking threat.
With Kamara sweeping up danger behind them, there will be confidence and courage shown by the team as a whole, and it will be fascinating to see just how influential the 22-year-old can be.
📊 📈 Boubacar Kamara in Ligue 1 last season…
— Talk Villa (@thetalkvilla) May 23, 2022
Diego Carlos an aggressive, powerful figure in heart of Villa defence
Villa have prioritised strengthening the spine of the side thus far, and they’ve certainly done that in the form of Carlos.
With his aggressive, physical and no-nonsense approach to defending, he’ll provide a real presence for us in defence, both on the ground and in the air, while his technical quality on the ball will help us build out from the back when in possession.
Carlos, 29, is entering the peak years of his career, and with the experience and maturity gained specifically from his spell with Sevilla, with whom he helped secure the best defensive record in La Liga last season, he arrives in the Premier League ready to showcase his ability as a fundamental figure in Villa’s quest to challenge at a higher level.
The statistics below reflect both his defensive class and quality on the ball, and while Tyrone Mings is seemingly at risk of dropping out of the side now, Villa have made a big call but the right one, with Carlos possessing all the key attributes and characteristics needed to help take this side to where we want to go.
With more activity expected in the transfer window, it remains to be seen who goes and how many more new arrivals are welcomed to the club. For now, Gerrard will be delighted with what Villa have brought in, and in Kamara and Carlos we’ll hopefully solve two big issues, add a better balance to the side with an improved defence and build a foundation for our attacking talent to go out and win more games.
📊📈 Diego Carlos in La Liga last season…
— Talk Villa (@thetalkvilla) June 3, 2022