Abdoulaye Kamara: Scouting Report by Adam Khan
This article is adapted from Adam Khan’’s Medium Portfolio – a collection of professional scouting reports highlighting some of the most exciting talents in German football.
If you are interested in sourcing his video-scouting expertise for your club, agency, or company, please reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter at @XxAdamKhanxX.
In today’s report, we analyse Borussia Dortmund II midfielder Abdoulaye Kamara. We highlight his strengths and weaknesses, as well as his current ability and future potential.
Abdoulaye Kamara is one of the most interesting players to have played in the 3rd Bundesliga (Germany’s third tier) this season.
Despite only turning 18 in November, Kamara has already collected more than 20 appearances for Dortmund’s reserve side, and the former PSG midfielder even featured once in the Bundesliga matchday squad.
Given that Kamara only has 1 ½ years remaining on his contract, the potential for a transfer in the summer could be high if Kamara isn’t satisfied with his first team opportunities, or Dortmund are no longer convinced by the youngster’s development tract.
For a player of his age, Abdoulaye Kamara has a worrisome injury track-record.
In early 2022, Kamara suffered an ankle sprain that withheld him from action for 31 days, and since October 17, 2022 – 96 days at the time of writing – the youngster has been sidelined with a MCL knee injury.
Abdoulaye Kamara has an exceptional physical toolbox. The fact that he is seamlessly able to compete as a central midfielder in one of the most physical leagues in Europe highlights this maturity.
His raw strength is decent, but more impressive is his ability to use his long limbs to get in between an opponent and the ball. In this respect, he has an astounding control over his large frame and a solid base of balance and mobility for a player of his stature.
Kamara is not very vocal – his limited German could be a factor – but he provides leadership and seeks initiative by constantly making himself available to receive possession.
Despite being the youngest player on the pitch when competing in the 3rd Bundesliga, Kamara doesn’t exude any fear or insecurity. Rather, he often gives the impression of a seasoned-veteran who clearly has the quality to play at a higher level.
Kamara has an eye-catching ability to carry possession forward with speed and control. His long strides allow him to cover large distances quickly, and his upright stature allows him to maintain complete vision of the pitch to select a suitable follow-up action.
His decision-making regarding when to seek carrying moments is also good, and shouldn’t provide any concern for an interested club.
In possession, Kamara has a good sense of when to speed or slow down the game. This puts a large demand on the opposition, as it is often hard to anticipate whether Kamara will simply recycle possession, or look for an incisive pass that speeds the game into the final third.
Kamara is strong and imposing in his execution of ground duels. He doesn’t go to ground easily, instead looking to force his way between the opponent and the ball to provide a physical barrier.
Even when he doesn’t initially win possession, this refusal to fully-commit helps to slow down opposition attacks and allow teammates to get behind the ball to provide a more collective resistance.
Not only does Kamara have the physical frame to be strong in the air, but his timing and positioning for aerial duels is also very good. His heading is clean and controlled, seeking teammates with a direct pass, or looping high in the air to prevent a quick counter-attack from the opposition.
Not enough information was available to assess his attacking heading towards goal..
⭐Vertical, Central Passing
Kamara’s ability to play forward passes through congested central pockets is very impressive.
It’s arguably his best trait, and something which allows him to stand out against many other holding midfielders of his age.
Often, these passes are directed towards Dortmund’s advanced central midfielders, by-passing multiple lines of pressure and shifting possession into the opposition’s final third.
Turning & Accelerating
For all of Kamara’s physical strength, two things he struggles with are his turning and acceleration. Kamara is not exceptionally quick in the first 10-20 metres, and is laborious when looking to change direction in and out of possession.
Both aspects – in particular his turning speed in possession – will need further development if he is to reach the level of the Borussia Dortmund first team, or another elite European outfit.
Kamara is a solid defensive presence, but his tracking of opposition midfielders is questionable and requires attention.
Kamara often fails to take note of opponents when dropping into his own penalty area, or the French midfielder doesn’t recover with enough intensity to maintain the tempo of an opponent storming into the final third.
It’s hard to determine whether Kamara has a tendency to switch off in these transition moments, or if he isn’t adequately aware of his surroundings to determine which opponent is his responsibility.
As we briefly mentioned in the biography, Kamara’s injury track-record is something to be wary of.
His MCL injury has the potential to have a lasting effect on his career. It significantly increases the chances that a similar injury will reoccur, and this current injury could leave a lasting impact on the strength of his knee.
Taking Advantage of Attacking Pockets to Receive Possession
Kamara has a lot of quality when it comes to consistently making himself available for simple passes, but the midfielder struggles to find attacking pockets of space behind the opposition’s first two lines of pressure. This has a negative effect on his impact in a more advanced midfield role.
Positioning to Receive Possession
Kamara also needs to develop his positioning when receiving possession. His hips are rarely open and forward-facing when receiving. This means he is either forced to play the ball straight back where it came from, or he needs to turn a full 180 degrees to complete a vertical action.
The first option doesn’t progress possession forward, while the latter is extremely dangerous as it requires significant space and time to complete successfully – two things which are rarely the case in the central pockets where Kamara operates.
⭐Purposeful First Touch
Kamara does not have a poor first touch, however he rarely uses his first touch to move away and change his position.
Not only does this slow the game down and limit his ability to make a quick action, but it is also extremely dangerous in his position as the deepest midfielder. By not moving possession quickly, he gives the opposition the opportunity to quickly apply pressure in a position where a turnover has a high-probability of resulting in a goal.
Given Abdoulaye Kamara’s extreme youth and relative inexperience in professional football, it’s hard to definitively grade his talent ceiling and potential ability. To get a more complete picture of Kamara’s talents a lot more analysis is required – particularly in matches at a higher level.
Nevertheless, it is clear to see from the limited sample size in the 3rd Bundesliga that the French midfielder possesses great potential. His physical stature, 1v1 defending, and qualities in vertical ball-progression are uniquely eye-catching.
There are still numerous aspects which limit Kamara’s potential to play at a higher level, but these deficits can be developed, and it shouldn’t be forgotten just how young he is.
If you are interested in sourcing Adam’s video-scouting expertise for your club, agency, or company, please reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @XxAdamKhanxX.