Why Boubacar Kamara is a top signing for Villa

Having officially confirmed the signing of Boubacar Kamara, Aston Villa will hope to have found a long-term midfield solution for Steven Gerrard.

Countless times this past season we lacked physicality, presence, defensive protection and solidity in the heart of the midfield, with Gerrard rotating through various individuals to play as the No.6 in the defensive midfield role.

READ MORE: Aston Villa transfer news: Six exits touted, three key figures to stay this summer

Marvelous Nakamba enjoyed a positive impact initially after Gerrard’s appointment, but following his knee injury, Douglas Luiz was drafted in to a familiar position that he’d played in consistently under Dean Smith previously.

Tim Iroegbunam and Calum Chambers have also slotted into that role over the past few months, but there has never been a stage where we looked like we had a defensive midfielder capable of playing that role week in and week out at a high level.

As per the club’s official site, we’ve now confirmed the signing of Kamara on a five-year contract as he joins us on a free transfer, and it is an excellent piece of business from Villa to not only sign him, but to get it done so quickly after the season concluded to maximise the amount of time he gets to settle before pre-season.

Kamara an excellent addition, solution to key Villa problem

Kamara ticks all the right boxes in terms of what we were lacking, and what we ultimately need to compete at a higher level.

He’s physical, athletic, possesses good technical ability and is composed in possession, has a wide passing range and his reading of the game and awareness allows him to not necessarily have to be a typical midfield destroyer to be effective.

In a way, he combines the qualities of Nakamba and Luiz and rolls it into one, but is better in both phases of the game.

Villa need a protector in front of the backline as we’ve too often been left exposed and the spine of the side has looked weak, a point Gerrard made in a recent press conference as he discussed what he was looking for to strengthen and improve this summer.

Kamara will certainly address that, and while it remains to be seen what other transfer targets we’ll prioritise off the back of that signing coupled with bringing in Philippe Coutinho on a permanent basis, this is an excellent way to start the window as not only have we added another high-calibre player, but we’ve also addressed the most glaring problem in the current XI.