With the news that Aboubakar Kamara looks like he may be returning to Motspur Park I’ll set out my arguments as to why the club should be exercising caution. My colleague Max Cohen has already given you the reasons why he thinks that he should be welcomed back with open arms but, as with anything, we need to look at both sides of the argument.
- Basic Skills – Kamara was an unknown quantity when he signed for Fulham two summers ago but it didn’t take very long for us, and the players around him, to realise that this is a player who has a lot of improving to do regarding basic football skills. His first touch at times was shockingly bad and his decision making at key moments leaves a lot to be desired. Some say that he has a raw talent that needs to be nurtured, others say that he is still young so could still come good. But can we really rely on this? I’d like to think that a player with raw talent would show some improvement in two years rather than being in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. His actual footballing ability for me is low and while his pace and strength are good attributes, he needs to be able to do the basics. Too often when Kamara gets the ball he sends it 5 metres to the left of where he meant to with his first touch, and I’m not sure if I can cope with another season of that.
- Discipline – Kamara’s discipline is possibly the weakest part of his game. He fouls a lot, dives a lot and generally forces himself to walk the tightrope every game that he plays. I don’t know about you, but I’m genuinely nervous when he plays for us. The dive in the play-off semi final at the Cottage is a prime example of this. To be going in for a challenge and actively deciding that you are going to dive is blatant cheating and I don’t want it at Fulham. There is a difference between going down expecting contact and just trying to con the referee. He did it again against Bournemouth last season and it was clear as day for everyone to see. He also picks up yellow cards reasonably frequently and can be easily wound up by opponents. He is an accident waiting to happen, and we don’t need that going into a campaign were we are aiming for promotion.
- Yoga/penalty/common assault – Aboubakar Kamara is more trouble than he is worth – both on and off the pitch. I’ve already touched on the diving but we don’t need to look much further for on-field indiscipline than the infamous penalty incident at home to Huddersfield. When your side is in the middle of a relegation battle, you don’t put your own goals target over the needs of the team. What he did that day was embarrassing and very nearly cost us points in our battle to stay up. Then we have a wealth of incidences off the pitch, from going to other games instead of supporting the team in a relegation battle, to the apparent fight with Mitrovic at a team yoga session. And when ordered to stay away, Kamara was arrested at Motspur Park for suspicion of ABH and criminal damage when he tried to get in. Do we seriously want a character like this in the dressing room as we seek to return to the Premier League?
All in all, I think that we could do much better. Want pace, power and a team player? Albert Adomah could be picked up on a free after being released by Villa. For me Kamara is too much trouble and I don’t think we need him disrupting the dressing room.