Who is Mohamed Ali Camara? Analysis of touted Aston Villa transfer target

Aston Villa have been linked with a move for Young Boys defender Mohamed Ali Camara this summer as we analyse what he could bring to Dean Smith’s side.

The need for a centre-half has become more prevalent after the club confirmed on Friday that they’ve agreed a deal with Royal Antwerp for Bjorn Engels.

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While Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings will no doubt remain the first-choice pairing for Smith next season with Kortney Hause on stand-by to step in when necessary, losing Engels leaves us with a void to fill to ensure that we have enough quality depth to cover any absences.

As noted by Sport Witness, Villa have enquired about Camara, and with little to go on with regards to the Guinea international, here is a closer look at what he could offer if he does indeed seal a move to Villa this summer.

Camara statistics, style of play and analysis

The 23-year-old came through the ranks at Horoya AC in his homeland before spending time in the Israeli Premier League with Hafia and then Hapoel Ra’anana.

That in turn propelled him up a level as he joined Young Boys in 2018, and it’s with the Swiss outfit where he has taken his game forward and ultimately earned the attention of clubs in England.

Camara has made 72 appearances for Young Boys, chipping in with four goals and four assists to go with his defensive duties as evidently he can pose a threat in the opposition box too.

He has five caps for Guinea to his name, while he’s a towering presence for club and country as he stands at 1.91m. Athletic and physically imposing, there is a lot to like about the defender’s frame and general demeanour on the pitch.

Importantly, he’s also comfortable on the ball and that’s now a key aspect for any defender in modern-day football, with the video below showing his ability to distribute and play long balls to find teammates in space.

In terms of his defensive ability though, he’s good at reading play as he steps in and wins possession often, he’s solid in the air both in terms of his initial positioning and winning duels while his strength and recovery pace allow him to keep on top of the player he’s marking.

There’s a lot to like about Camara on an initial look, but naturally it’s a massive step up for him if he comes to the Premier League and so Villa’s decision-making, if we decide to swoop, will also be based on his potential and room for development to be able to adapt to the English game.

The pressure will be off him if he joins as ultimately he’ll be playing a back-up role and so he’ll have time to adapt and adjust before being thrown into the mix. Nevertheless, there’s a lot to like about his game, and it will be interesting to see if we do opt to prioritise him to fill the void left behind by Engels.