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Aston Villa tracking £760-p/w Premier League midfielder similar to Kamara

Written by on May 1, 2024

Aston Villa are chasing a Premier League talent who ranks similarly to midfielder Boubacar Kamara ahead of a potential summer move, it has been reported.

Villa struggle without Kamara

Though Unai Emery’s side are having an excellent Premier League season, it could have been even better had their midfield lynchpin not picked up a serious knee injury.

Signed on a free transfer in the summer of 2022, Boubacar Kamara has gone on to become one of the first names on the Aston Villa teamsheet when fit, so much so that captain John McGinn has been forced to play out wide in order to accommodate him.

However, Villa have had to play the last 15 games without the Frenchman after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a game against Manchester United.

His absence has coincided with a drop-off in Villa’s form. With Kamara not in the side, they are conceding more, winning less and picking up fewer points on average.

Boubacar Kamara’s importance to Aston Villa

2023/24 Premier League

With Kamara

Without Kamara

Games

20

15

Wins

13

7

Win%

65%

46%

Goals conceded per game

1.05

1.87

Points per game

2.05

1.73

All of Douglas Luiz, Youri Tielemans and McGinn himself have been trialled in his position during his absence, but the lack of a true replacement for the Frenchman has undoubtedly had a damaging effect on Villa’s season.

It will likely be trivial come the end of the campaign, with Villa seemingly set for Champions League football next season, but they will need to find a way to replace Kamara in the first part of next season, with the midfielder not expected back until September at the earliest, and likely not fully up to speed until later.

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Now, they may have found a man to help share the role.

Villa chase youngster

That comes in the form of young Sheffield United midfielder Ollie Arblaster, who has shone for the relegated side since making his debut against Arsenal in March – a game that his side lost 6-0.

The 19-year-old only signed a new contract earlier this year, but is believed to earn just £760 a week at Bramall Lane.

Now, he is wanted by Villa, with The Telegraph reporting that the Midlands outfit are among those “circling” for the England youth international amid hopes that he could be a cheap addition following the Blades dropping into the second tier.

They add that “Sheffield United are determined to keep him”, with the club captaincy not beyond him already, but a bid for his services against the backdrop of relegation may test that resolve.

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His departure this summer is looking increasingly likely.

He has already come in for plenty of praise from his manager, with Chris Wilder recently dubbing him “the best on the park” against Chelsea, who fielded their two record signings against him.

“His performances have been incredibly consistent at the highest level – against Liverpool the way they press,” Wilder said.

“He was the best on the park against £200m of talent against Chelsea. He was good at Brentford and that was a different challenge.


ollie-arblaster

“He was [the best] against Burnley and [against United], pound for pound against [Christian] Eriksen, and Man United have got a special kid in there as well [in Kobbie Mainoo], he was going to the end and making really good decisions with and without the ball.”

It is easy to see why Villa are keen, with data site FBref statistically ranking him as similar to Kamara, with Arblaster particularly excelling in defensive work. Should he be available, he could be a very savvy signing to provide cover and competition where Villa need it most.

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