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Kei Kamara looks set for Premier League move

Jan 30, 2013, 8:33 AM EDT

San Jose Earthquakes v Sporting Kansas City Getty Images

On the heels of Brek Shea taking the next step toward England, another midwest attacker looks set to leap out of Major League Soccer and into the Premier League. And when you think about the physical qualities this man possesses, it’s little surprise Kei Kamara might get a look in England.

According to reports this morning, the Sierre Leonean striker has agreed to a deal with Norwich City, a club that currently sits 13th in the Premier League. As you’ll see here, few details are available, and an agreement between player and club is only one of many steps in the process of moving to England.

Will Sporting KC sign off on the deal? Will MLS? It looks like we’re about to find out, but the one hurdle ITV mentions in their piece (a work permit) shouldn’t be an issue. Rules for players getting into the Premier League tie eligibility to the frequency with which you’ve appeared for their senior national team. Kamara has 14 caps for Sierra Leone since 2008 and has been a regular call-in for the Stars’ recent matches.

If the deal goes through, it will be a remarkable rise for a player who, just over three years ago, was cast off by the Houston Dynamo. But Kamara has made a career for himself in Kansas City, scoring 31 of his 45 career goals since moving north. He’s also collected 18 assists since being traded to Sporting in 2009.

MORE: Sporting KC’s CEO explains Kamara move

That’s why it would be such a huge loss. Sporting have depth at striker thanks to the summer acquisition of Designated Player Claudio Bieler, but Kamara is so unique. He’s 6’3″, strong, fast and skilled. It’s a package that not only makes him a good fit for the Premier League but also a unique left-sided target man for Peter Vermes’ team. There’s really no way to make a like-for-like replacement, even from a team that also has C.J. Sapong and Teal Bunbury (currently injured) on their books.

If the deal goes through, it would be interesting to see how Chris Hughton uses Kamara. He has the physical tools to immediately step in, but there might be the temptation to see his physicality and project Kamara as a No. 9. He’s unlikely to see immediate success in that role, partly because it’s one he hasn’t played full time in Kansas City.

Going from the freedom of a mostly wide player to somebody who’ll have to constantly bang with world class center halves? It would be an adjustment, to say the least.

But maybe Norwich has seen what Kansas City’s done and feel they can leverage a unique, wide target man. If they have, Kamara could be a success in England.

  1. korules - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    Overrated player, may score a goal or two in the Premier League, but lacks the (efficient) finishing touch of a, let’s say, Kelley O’Hara.

  2. mvktr2 - Jan 30, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    I’ve seen people over at mlssoccer lamenting along these lines, ‘how can MLS grow into a top league if we don’t keep the better talent here’.

    As far as I can tell this is good news because with the very limited salary cap and other salary restrictions MLS is a stepping stone league, a league that sells players sending them onto higher profile and better paying gigs. The payoff for MLS is the money received gets put into scouting/player development to create more of those players and the league becomes a more viable destination every time 2 or 4 or 8 players leave.

  3. papabear13 - Jan 30, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    I don’t know if cast off is the right term for how Kamara left Houston. The rumors I heard around town were that the team loved his talent, but locker room issues were the reason he wasn’t part of the long term plan. So he may have been cast off, but it had nothing to do with his ability.

  4. wfjackson3 - Jan 30, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    “THIS SUCKS!” -SKC fans everywhere

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