By Rest Mutore
Zimbabwe international midfielder Marvelous Nakamba’s display on his English Premiership debut in a 0-0 against West Ham on Monday has caught the imagination of Aston Villa fans who voted him the Man Of The Match in an online poll ran by his club.
Nakamba polled 35 percent of the vote to beat Bjorn Engels who was a distant second with 25 percent.
Tyrone Mings garnered 23 percent of the vote on third position while John McGinn got 17 percent of the 11 629 votes.
The poll has also seen Zimbabwean fans participating as witnessed by their comments on the Aston Villa handle.
Nakamba got the nod from manager Dean Smith ahead of Brazilian Douglas Luiz, who later replaced him after 80 minutes.
The 25-year-old was hailed by pundits for the shield he provided to the defense to help Villans record their second clean sheet of the season.
Smith’s men have the highest number of clean sheets (two) in the Premier League so far after restricting Everton on Match day three – defeating them 2-0.
Nakamba was rated among the best on the pitch against the Hammers by different publications and it will be difficult for Smith to keep him on the bench.
Villa travel to Arsenal this Sunday and Smith is likely to be tempted to throw the Zimbabwean in the fray given the attacking threats of Unai Emery’s men.
He showed his abilities when he managed to counter and break the threats posed by the likes of Manuel Lanzini and Mark Noble for Aston Villa.
Villa fans are also eager to see Nakamba start at the Emirates on Sunday and have taken the campaign to social media.
A Birmingham-based Twitter page, Astonforza, dedicated to Aston Villa described Nakamba’s performance against West Ham as solid, adding he should start against Arsenal.
“Rewatched some of the game back. Monster performance from Nakamba on his league debut. Amount of times he broke opposition play went under the radar. Shaky at first but grew into the game. Must start vs Arsenal. #avfc”
“Think Nakamba and Luiz would be a good option against Arsenal. I would play McGinn in front of them and give him the free role and push Jack wide left. Think he would be far more effective, than El Ghazi, cutting in. And would definitely have Treze on the right.,” @AVFCBedders
English journalist Ashley Preece who reports for Birmingham Mail, focusing on Aston Villa, reported that Villa look balanced with Nakamba in front of defenders since his style of play allows his partners to roam.
“The 25-year-old sat in front of the back four and enjoyed a lot of early touches of the football which would have no doubt calmed his nerves. He looks a really smooth operator, all left foot but ice-cool on the ball, often pivoting in the anchorman role while keeping it simple with his range of passing.
“He looks – and is – more defensively-minded than Brazilian Douglas Luiz. The summer signing has a spring in his step as well and looks mobile. He faded in the second half which is understandable given his last outing came against Crewe Alexandra in the cup a month ago. Villa look much more balanced with him in the side – gave Grealish and McGinn more of a licence to get forward, too,” wrote Preece. H-Metro