The Zimbabwe-born central midfielder is Aston Villa’s eleventh signing this summer. The Club Brugge and former Vitesse man is expected to compete with Douglas Luiz, John McGinn, and Conor Hourihane for a place in the claret and blues’ midfield.
The aptly named Marvelous Nakamba arrives at Villa Park in a reported £11 million move from Belgian top flight side Club Brugge. After 63 appearances in two seasons in Bruges, the 25-year-old Nakamba gets a Premier League move.
Dean Smith gets a traditional, tried and true ball-winner for the No. 6 position. In Smith’s 4-3-3- set-up, Nakamba can also feature a bit more forward in one of the dual No. 8 roles often featuring McGinn and Grealish on either side.
At 25.5, Nakamba should be entering his peak as a footballer at Villa Park. He’s quite experienced, too, which shouldn’t create any development problems whilst playing in the Premier League. Nakamba has played Ligue 2, Dutch Eredivisie, Belgian Jupiler Pro League, Europa League and UEFA Champions League football. In summary, he’s been there and done that in Europe. Now he gets to challenge himself in the world’s toughest league 1-20.
It’s possible, in my opinion, that Nakamba has less of an impact this season than quite a few other incoming transfers. For one, he has competition in four other really good players for just three positions. Coming in a bit later in pre-season won’t help, either, especially with just one friendly left in Red Bull Leipzig on Saturday. Fellow teammates Matt Targett, Wesley Moraes, and Fred Guilbert have fewer players to compete with at their respective positions.
With Luiz and Nakamba aboard, club CEO Christian Purslow and sporting director Jesus García Pitarch have successfully replaced the minutes vacated by free agent departures Glenn Whelan and Mile Jedinak.