Zimbabwe: Nakamba Shines On Long Awaited Aston Villa Debut

Marvellous Nakamba flanked by fans (file photo).

Zimbabwe Warriors star midfielder Marvelous Nakamba put up a solid performance in his long awaited debut for Aston Villa after playing a pivotal role in the English Premier League side's impressive 6-1 victory over Crewe Alexandra in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.

The 25 year-old £11 million signing from Belgian side Club Brugge missed Aston Villa's first three Premier League games as he sought to build up his fitness after missing most of pre-season due to an injury he suffered representing his country at the African Cup of Nations two months ago.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith however finally handed him his claret and blue bow at Gresty Road and the Zimbabwean star grabbed the opportunity with both hands after putting on stellar performance.

Nakamba played the full 90 minutes as he partnered two-goal hero Conor Hourihane and Henri Lansbury in Aston Villa's shuffled midfield.

In addition to his impressive ball winning attributes and range of slick passing, the Hwange-born player also provided Villa fans with one of the highlights of the evening after producing a cheeky nutmeg, showing the fans how comfortable he is in possession.

Nakamba's performance earned him the praises of the Birmingham Mail's Ashley Preece, who penned a glowing scout report on the Zimbabwean's debut.

"Nakamba made angles for fun in the middle of the park, knows exactly how to turn his body so teammates can find him for a pass in tight areas. More defensively-minded than Douglas Luiz and likes to sweep up the danger. His trademark is a swivelling, sweeping slide tackle, did that twice in the game, winning the ball from off a Crewe midfielder to thwart an attack," Preece said.

"He's got a trick in him too, which was evident when he dragged the ball back to leave a Crewe wide man for dead while he nutmegged another with a cheeky Cruyff turn.

"Didn't put a foot wrong in truth, was pressurised by Crewe's Callum Ainley who played on his toes but, as the game went on, found it easier and easier. Tougher tests will come, make no mistake about that, but Nakamba got some much-needed minutes in the legs and impressed throughout," he said.

Nakamba was on Tuesday not included in the Warriors squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup preliminary round qualifier against Somalia next week after requesting to have more time to settle at his new team.

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