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Making sense of the Ola Kamara transfer

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MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy at Seattle Sounders FC Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

At this moment Ola Kamara is somewhere over the Pacific Ocean on a plane to China to complete a transfer to an unknown Super League club. Barring any unforeseen setbacks, it is expected the LA Galaxy will facilitate the move.

Such a scenario was unthinkable 24 hours ago, but the reality is MLS is quickly evolving into a selling league. Teams have assets, assets have agents, and clubs from abroad are willing to pursue those assets, increasingly for big bucks.

That being said, not all is doom and gloom. While it’s never ideal to lose a proven goalscorer a week before the season begins, there are reasons to suggest the move will net a positive return in the long run.

Kamara was playing out of position, wanted more money and did not feature in LA’s future plans

A proper rebuilding project, at the very least, takes multiple years to execute. The Schelotto twins may be fortunate to work with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Romain Alessandrini et al. but the roster is unbalanced, the cumulative result of years of poor management and bad contracts. To mold and shape the squad into a cohesive, productive unit with the right personnel is going to take time (and patience).

There’s little doubt Kamara was a key contributor to the attack with 14 goals and 3 assists, but Ola was admittedly pigeon-holed into a winger role before operating as a second striker, neither position of which ideally suited the natural No. 9.

Not that playing out of position was a fatal knock. We ourselves argued over the winter that Kamara was an indispensable piece of the attack. However our thinking was rooted in the notion that you don’t part with a talented finisher such as Ola unless the right situation presents itself.

A big money transfer to China is the right situation.

By granting Kamara permission to switch clubs, the LA Galaxy will collect a sizable transfer fee for a 29-year old striker at the tail end of his prime, shedding themselves of a piece that wasn’t an ideal fit for the club and freeing up almost seven figures of salary cap room in the process. MLSsoccer.com’s Sam Stejskal also points out the funds could be allocated towards a potential buyout of Giovani dos Santos’ contract.

Schelotto already plans to use the funds on reinforcements. Boca Juniors’ Sebastian Villa and Racing Club’s Ricardo Centurion are two Argentine attackers the LA Galaxy boss publicly acknowledged interest in earlier but admitted were out of their price range. Has this changed?

Parting ways with Ola Kamara wasn’t an easy call, but by doing so the club have essentially skipped a step in the rebuilding process while adding much-needed salary cap relief. Regardless of what the club ultimately does with the funds, selling Kamara was the right call.