Ex-France international blasts Kamara’s decision to join Villa as he backs them to finish bottom half

Jason Soutar
Aston Villa new signing Boubacar Kamara competes for the ball with Neymar

Former France winger Jerome Rothen has delivered a scathing assessment of Aston Villa after Boubacar Kamara’s move to Villa Park.

The Villans confirmed on Monday that they had signed the 22-year-old on a free transfer after fighting off interest from numerous European clubs.

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He was also linked with Newcastle and Manchester United, but opted to join Villa, who finished 14th in the Premier League.

Kamara played 34 Ligue 1 games in 2021/22 as Marseille finished second to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

After shining for the French outfit, ex-Paris Saint-Germain and Rangers winger Rothen has slammed the young midfielder’s decision to join Villa, saying that he does not expect Steven Gerrard’s side to fight for European qualification next term.

“I don’t understand,” Rothen told RMC Sport (via Birmingham Mail). “The Premier League is the best league in Europe, but it has five or six headliners. Aston Villa are among the second-tier teams.

“Does Aston Villa have any star players? No. So they’re not going to fight for the top positions in the Premier League. I’d be surprised if they end up in the top 10, so they have very little chance of playing in any European competition.

“An international player is going to commit himself to a team 14th in the English league? Kamara will play with Bertrand Traore and Morgan Sanson? Sportingly, he will have a hard time (reaching the next level) at Aston Villa.”

Speaking after the signing was complete, Gerrard told the club’s official website: “I am delighted that we have been able to attract one of the most promising young talents in European football. We have a very clear plan to make our team stronger and Bouba is an important part of that.”

Kamara said: “When I met with Steven, Christian (Purslow) and Johan (Lange) in my home I knew Aston Villa was for me. Their ambition and determination to succeed matches my own. I cannot wait for pre-season to get going.”

As well as Kamara, Villa have already confirmed the permanent signing of Philippe Coutinho, who initially joined on loan during the January transfer window.