We’ve not talked too much this pre-season about Glen Kamara. Regular readers will know we weren’t initially his biggest fans, citing his lack of concentration and inferior physicality to Ross McCrorie as weaknesses in his game.
But he grew on us. His superior composure on the ball became telling, his distribution began to stand out, and his quick-thinking impressed.
It became abundantly clear why this 23-year old kid (still significant months from his next birthday) was an experienced Finnish international at his age, and it must be considered that Rangers completely destroyed the bargain of £29K for Jason Holt with the £50-£100K that was dished out for the Dundee man.
Certainly he’s not perfect – he still has the tendency to lose focus – he’s been guilty of lazy sideway passes in front of the box, gifting the ball to opposition, and it has cost goals.
He is also not as physically capable as the now-departed McCrorie – he doesn’t have quite his level of power, and maybe doesn’t do the grafting the Auchenhowie graduate does.
But his creativity in the final third, his skill on the ball, his ability to assist and his all-round intelligence outweigh the weaknesses and he’s a player, those loose passes aside, we can truly trust.
Brighton were said to be looking at him. We’re surprised only they were. From the circa £100K he cost, Kamara’s market value has absolutely skyrocketed. His former manager Neil McCann knew he not only had a player on his hands at Dens Park, but a special one, one destined for the very top of the game.
The most obvious comparison is Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante (5 years Kamara’s senior now but 2 years older when he switched to Stamford Bridge) – physically very very similar to Kamara, the £35M signing from Leicester was one of the main reasons Claudio Ranieri’s men won that staggering title those seasons ago, and Kamara has every chance of being as good. If he isn’t already.
Kante is a world cup winner – because he’s French. Kamara is ‘unfortunate’ to be Finnish, a country who will never compete for anything. But his ability is undeniable, and his value to Rangers grows by performance.
And what is that value? Well, with Celtic’s ever-injured Kieran Tierney switching to Arsenal for £25M, and with barely 12 caps for his country, it gives some clue how much a player of that age and value at the perceived top of his game and getting better is worth.
Bear in mind, Kamara has represented his nation for both World Cup qualifying and European Championship qualifying, while Tierney has only managed the former. Kamara also has more caps. Scotland and Finland are very comparable for level, especially considering Scotland’s patent decline.
Tierney’s advantage is 9 appearances in the Champions League, with an assist. Kamara has an assist and a goal for his country.
So, the two could be compared in certain senses, and there’s no reason Kamara isn’t already in the ballpark of well above £15M. Going by crazy fees, probably considerably more. Especially given Rangers not only don’t need to sell him, but consider him a critical asset.
If a 25-year old Kante could go for £35M just before transfer fees lost the absolute plot, and Tierney now goes for £10M less with a CV nowhere what Kante’s was in 2016, Kamara becomes lucrative as well.
He becomes the best use of £100K Rangers have ever made.