Aboubakar Kamara came off the bench to score the second in Fulham’s 2-0 win over promotion rivals Preston North End on Saturday, capping a recent run of good form.
With a goal and two assists in his last three appearances, all of which have been from the bench, the Frenchman has helped Fulham achieve some vital results and with every passing week is making a bigger case for his inclusion from the start.
Kamara has been an important figure at Fulham since his arrival from Amiens in 2017, but one that has also polarised opinion.
Notably, he was sent out on loan last season after an incident involving Aleksandar Mitrovic, after which his career at the club appeared to be over.
However, in just seven starts this season he has managed four goals and four assists and at just 24 years old, he remains an interesting prospect.
In our latest FLW Six Pointer, we look at Kamara’s role at Fulham and whether he is ready for a start.
Why is he being considered for a starting place?
“While Fulham’s front three of Ivan Cavaleiro, Anthony Knockaert and Mitrovic is the envy of many of their rivals, there remains space for improvement.
“While Mitrovic has been very prolific with 23 league goals so far, Knockaert has just three from 32 league appearances.
“Scott Parker has also been quite reliant on the trio and given his side are in the midst of a tight promotion battle, rotation could be key.”
What do supporters think of him?
“Following his bust-up with Mitrovic last season, Kamara was not the most popular and it was a bit of a surprise he didn’t leave the club in the summer.
“However, he started mending his reputation with the fans through some promising cameos and has gained more and more support in recent weeks.
“While fans remain somewhat doubtful of his first touch and technique, there is a recognition that he has improved his end product with experience.”
Which role suits him best?
“Kamara is a versatile attacker and that certainly plays to his advantage as Parker looks to shuffle his pack with the season coming to a close.
“Probably best through the centre, he can play from either wing but is probably better cutting in from the left onto his right foot.
“However, having a player that can go anywhere in a front three if asked is a huge advantage.”
Who should he replace in the lineup?
“Mitrovic has started 33 of Fulham’s 36 league games this season and appears to be in from the start when available.
“This is understandable given his output, meaning Kamara is most likely to receive game time out wide, either replacing Cavaleiro or Knockaert.
“Cavaleiro has been the better of those two this season, with more goals and assists, meaning Knockaert’s right-wing spot is where he is most likely to come in.”
What is his relationship with his teammates like?
“Fulham made the decision this summer to rehabilitate Kamara after the incident with Mitrovic and it appears that there have been few issues since.
“Prior to this decision being taken it is understood senior members of the squad were consulted and Kamara has played an active role this term.
“Whether his relationship with Mitrovic can ever fully recover remains to be seen, but it does not appear to be a limiting factor.”
Should he be offered a start in Fulham’s next match?
“With the season reaching the sharp end, rotation is key and it is probably time for Kamara to be given a go from the start.
“While Knockaert’s form has not been poor, he has not contributed a goal or an assist in his last four and the chance could help freshen things up.
“Kamara is an impact player that adds something different to this Fulham side, which could help when they face promotion rivals Bristol City on Saturday.”