Aston Villa opinion: Nakamba could be a massive coup for the Lions
According to Birmingham Live, Aston Villa are interested in signing Marvelous Nakamba in the summer transfer window as manager Dean Smith looks to build a strong enough squad capable of beating the drop in the Premier League.
The 25-year-old Zimbabwean international, who currently plies his trade with Club Brugge in the Belgian top-flight, has earned rave reviews for his performances and Birmingham Live understands that the Belgian heavyweights are likely to demand a fee in excess of £20million to part ways with their star midfielder.
Villa have already snapped up Brazilian centre-forward Wesley Moraes from Club Brugge in a club-record deal this summer and a move for Nakamba, if it materialises, would represent the Lions’ second consecutive raid on the Belgian giants.
The 25-year-old has made eyeballs turn with his consistently impressive performances in recent years and he might as well earn a coveted move to the Premier League, with newly-promoted outfit Villa keen to play a gamble on him.
Nakamba’s involvement was restricted to just 23 appearances in all competitions this past season but he still played a key role as Club Brugge finished runners-up to Genk in the Belgian top-flight.
The 25-year-old featured prominently in his club’s Champions League campaign in the group stages and held his own against some top-quality opposition.
Born in Hwange, Zimbabwe, Nakamba started his career with Highlanders and Bantu Rovers in his homeland before earning a move to Europe with French side Nancy back in 2012.
However, his time in France proved to be an ill-fated one and the midfielder featured largely for the club’s reserve side, making only a handful of first-team appearances in the process.
Nakamba, though, enjoyed his breakthrough in Europe with Vitesse Arnhem in the Eredivisie.
The 25-year-old established himself as a first-team regular at Vitesse and made 77 appearances in all competitions for the Dutch outfit before moving across the continent to join Club Brugge in the summer of 2017.
His spell in Belgium has been a fruitful one so far, with the Zimbabwean international carving out a reputation for himself as one of the most exciting prospects outside the top-five European leagues.
To put things into perspective, Marvelous Nakamba has been a real revelation in Europe over the past few campaigns and Aston Villa have every reason to look at him as a potential transfer target this summer.
The Zimbabwean is still only 25, meaning that he has plenty of time to make significant improvements to his game and acclimatise to the Premier League in due course of time.
The Lions have already demonstrated their ambitions in the top-flight with the acquisition of players like Jota, Kortney Hause, Anwar El Ghazi and Wesley Moraes, and while reinforcements at the back continue to be a priority for manager Dean Smith, Villa can certainly do with more depth and quality in their midfield ranks.
The likes of John McGinn, Conor Hourihane and Jack Grealish formed a formidable trio in the Championship this past season but one can get the feeling that they need to ensure more competition for places in a key area of the pitch.
Smith preferred a 4-3-3 system with a central defensive midfielder playing in an anchor role and complementing two forward-minded midfielders in No.8 roles on either side of the pitch. And that is exactly why Nakamba could be a tailor-made signing for the Lions in the Premier League.
Essentially a central defensive midfielder by trade, Nakamba is noted for his tough-tackling and all-action nature in the middle of the park, as well as his impressive range of passing and ball distribution skills, which should make him a perfect fit for the kind of formation Dean Smith prefers.
A strong, tenacious, aggressive and hardworking midfielder, the 25-year-old is not only adept at breaking up the play with crucial tackles and interceptions but he is also more than capable of carrying the ball forward with pace, setting his team on the front foot in the process.
Conor Hourihane looks like the only choice for Villa in that central defensive midfield role following the release of experienced players like Mile Jedinak and Glenn Whelan.
While the Irishman certainly deserves a fair crack of the whip in the Premier League, bringing in someone like Nakamba would increase competition for places and add some much-needed depth to the club’s ranks.
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The 25-year-old might as well prove to be an upgrade on Villa’s existing options and that said, they should not hesitate to splash the cash on him this summer.