A look at the wonderful numbers of Aston Villa star Marvelous Nakamba
It was always going to be interesting to see how the Lions would fare in the top-flight after laying down a marker as one of the highest spending clubs in the Premier League this summer, but they haven’t really lived up to the hype if their performances in the first three months are anything to go by.
However, it is worth mentioning that the draw of fixtures hasn’t been too kind to the Midlands giants, with Villa already playing three of last season’s top-six – Man City, Tottenham and Arsenal, in the Premier League.
Their performances in those fixtures aren’t really the yardsticks upon which their top-flight credentials are going to be judged, however, one does get the feeling that dropping points against other mid-table contenders like Crystal Palace and Burnley aren’t going to help Villa in their bid for survival.
Club-record signing Wesley, who came through the door for a staggering £22m from Club Brugge, has found the net 4 times in 10 league outings while Jack Grealish and Anwar El Ghazi have been among the other key contributors to the team in terms of goals and assists.
The centre-back pairing of Bjorn Engels and Tyrone Mings has been equally impressive in the first quarter of the season, but Marvelous Nakamba has really made a telling impact in central midfield.
An £11million recruit from Club Brugge in the summer, Nakamba’s arrival at Villa Park almost went under the radar, with his former teammate Wesley grabbing all the headlines in the British tabloids.
The Zimbabwean international initially found himself on the periphery of the first-team for over a month-and-a-half but he has grown in confidence to establish himself as one of the key cogs in Villa’s midfield, and early signs suggest that the 25-year-old could well be amongst the best bargains in the Premier League at the end of the season.
A standout performance in Villa’s 6-0 victory over Crewe Alexandra in the EFL Cup paved the way for Marvelous Nakamba to make his Premier League debut in the 0-0 draw against West Ham in September and the former Brugge man has grabbed his opportunities with both hands, usurping the likes of Douglas Luiz and Conor Hourihane in the pecking order under Dean Smith.
The Zimbabwean, who has started each of Villa’s last six games in the Premier League, has earned rave reviews for his fearless and tough-tackling displays in the middle of the park.
Moreover, the 25-year-old has also proven himself to be a tailor-made fit for the English game with his work rate, industry, composure in possession, intelligent distribution, ability to break up the play and flawless passing.
As per whoscored, Nakamba averages 3.5 tackles, 1.5 interceptions and 2 clearances per game in the Premier League this season, having managed to win 21 of his attempted 38 tackles so far.
He has been dribbled past 2.8 times on an average per game, which points to a hit-or-miss side in the Zimbabwean’s style of play, but the fact that he has attempted 38 tackles in 6 outings is indicative of his mettle and fearlessness, and one does get the feeling that those numbers are going to improve as he acclimatises more and more to the tempo of the English game.
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Furthermore, Nakamba averages 37.8 passes at an accuracy of 86.8%, including 0.8 dribbles, 1 key pass and 1.7 successful long balls per game, figures which are a testament to his early promise in the Premier League.
Suffice to say, Marvelous Nakamba is proving himself to be an absolute gem of a signing for Aston Villa and his consistent run of form in the midfield could make a big difference to the Lions’ bid for survival in the top-flight.