Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira could be set for a busy summer with potential transfers, both incoming and outgoing, with eight players set to leave at the end of the season upon the expiry of their contracts.
Midfield trio Cheikhou Kouyate, James McArthur and Jeff Schlupp are among those who currently won’t be at Selhurst Park next season, while star loanee Conor Gallagher will return to parent club Chelsea at the end of the campaign.
With Palace potentially losing four midfielders, it seems a near-certainty that Vieira will be on the lookout for players to come in and do a job in the middle of the park. With the Eagles not earning a transfer fee for the departures of the aforementioned players, Boubacar Kamara would be the perfect signing for the south London club.
The Sun reported at the start of the month that Palace have joined the race for the Marseille midfielder, whose contract is set to expire at the end of this season, meaning that he will be available for free.
According to Dean Jones, Palace have their eye on both Kamara and Aston Villa midfielder Morgan Sanson going into the summer transfer window.
In a recent interview with GiveMeSport, the journalist said: “I think that they’re both players that they’ll have an eye on. They’re both at clubs whereby you would feel you’ve got a good chance of being able to sign them, and you know that they are potentially available for transfer.”
Who better to develop a young French defensive midfielder than Vieira, who himself was an iconic player in that position for Arsenal during their golden years in the early to mid-2000s.
Kamara is an exceptional young talent, valued at £22.5m by Transfermarkt and with the potential to become one of the world’s most valuable defensive midfielders if he continues his rate of development.
Labelled as “one of the next big things” in world football by journalist David Anderson, the 22-year-old has appeared in 25 Ligue 1 matches this term, averaging an impressive 7.09 match rating from Sofascore while completing 90% of his passes per game.
An accomplished ball-playing defensive midfielder, Kamara ranks in the top 2% among defensive midfielders across Europe’s top five leagues and continental competitions for short passes completed per game (33.96). He has also demonstrated his ability in linking defence with attack by taking the ball forward, ranking in the top 6% for carries per 90 (61.06).
Not only would he represent excellent value for money on a free transfer, his future resale value could reap Palace a vast transfer fee if they can bring him to south London first. In the short-term, he may well become one of the Premier League’s top defensive midfielders under Vieira’s tutelage were this prospective transfer to happen.