Why Leeds United should beat Aston Villa to sign Glen Kamara
According to Daily Mail via HITC (h/t Birmingham Live), Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has pinpointed Glen Kamara as one of the club’s top targets in the January transfer window.
The Lions are on the lookout for a new central midfielder during the mid-season trading period to fill in the void left by the injury to John McGinn, and Kamara has been identified as a cheap and affordable alternative. (Daily Mail via HITC h/t Birmingham Live)
Kamara, who joined Rangers from Dundee United for a thrifty £50,000 in January 2019, has proven himself to be a massive bargain for the Gers, with the Finnish international establishing himself as one of the club’s mainstays in the middle of the park.
The 24-year-old central midfielder, who previously trained with Arsenal and spent time on loan at Southend United and Colchester United before moving north of the border with Dundee United in 2017, has already clocked up 29 appearances for Steven Gerrard’s side across all competitions so far this term.
The ex-Arsenal trainee has earned rave reviews for his performances at Ibrox and his burgeoning reputation has put a number of English clubs on red alert, with Aston Villa now joining the race to secure his services during the mid-season trading period.
Those speculations linking the 24-year-old with a move to Elland Road seemed to have faded away, however, with Aston Villa now identifying the Finnish star as a replacement for McGinn, the West Yorkshire giants might need to step up their pursuit of the central midfielder if they are genuinely interested in securing his services.
Meanwhile, Leeds United edged Birmingham City in a 5-4 thriller at St. Andrew’s on Sunday to go top of the table in the Championship, as automatic promotion rivals West Brom suffered a shock 2-0 defeat at the hands of Middlesbrough.
Despite their recent inconsistent run of form, the Whites are still pretty much among the favourites in the race for automatic promotion, with West Brom and Leeds both level on points and currently enjoying a nine-point advantage over third-placed Fulham.
A tally of 42 goals scored and 20 conceded in 25 games so far clearly reveals that Leeds don’t really need to make any wholesale changes to their squad in January.
A prolific striker with a proven Championship track record could certainly be the final piece in the jigsaw for Marcelo Bielsa but that could hinge on whether Arsenal opt to recall loanee Eddie Nketiah, who recently earned his first league start for the Whites.
However, according to a report from the Daily Mail (h/t Daily Star), Premier League giants, Man United and Arsenal, are set to fight it out with Aston Villa in the race to sign Kalvin Phillips in January.
The 24-year-old has been one of the key cogs in Bielsa’s wheels, and certainly amongst the club’s standout performers over the past couple of seasons, meaning that parting ways with the defensive midfielder midway through the campaign could deal a massive blow to the Whites’ promotion hopes.
In an ideal world, Leeds should look to keep hold of Phillips at all costs in January, having successfully fended off top-flight interest in the academy graduate’s services back in the summer with a new long-term deal.
However, the Whites need to start preparing for life without one of their key players should they receive a bid which is simply too good to turn down, and that is exactly why it is high time for Leeds United to step up their interest in Glen Kamara, amidst interest from Aston Villa.
Bielsa has very little cover for Phillips in that deep midfield role, with Adam Forshaw currently out of the mix due to an injury and the likes of Jamie Shackleton and Jordan Stevens still raw and unproven at the highest level.
Featuring as a box-to-box midfielder in Gerrard’s 4-3-3 system at Ibrox, Kamara has impressed with his ball-winning, accurate passing and ball-retention qualities north of the border.
With that in mind, the Finnish international certainly deserves a second crack of the whip to prove his mettle in English football, having previously struggled to cut the teeth at Arsenal.
Suffice to say, Glen Kamara has the well-rounded qualities to slot into the shoes of Phillips in West Yorkshire, and at 24, he still has a lot of room for development, meaning that the Finnish star could well play a part for Leeds in the Premier League should they manage to secure promotion.
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Having said that, Leeds United should go all out in their pursuit of the Rangers star during the mid-season trading period.