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Nakamba now needs to step up at Villa

By Phillip Zulu

The current evolvement of Aston Villa’s style of play and the impressive performance on the pitch has excited many football match.

Burnley v Aston Villa - Turf Moor, Burnley, Britain - January 1, 2020 Aston Villa's Marvelous Nakamba celebrates after the match (Reuters/Jason Cairnduff)
Burnley v Aston Villa – Turf Moor, Burnley, Britain – January 1, 2020 Aston Villa’s Marvelous Nakamba celebrates after the match (Reuters/Jason Cairnduff)

More importantly, this has provided a reprieve on Marvelous Nakamba’s precarious situation at the Midlands-based English Premiership club.

The Zimbabwean international has been a serious subject of discussion as talk of a loan deal, to either Newcastle United or Valencia in Spain, gathered momentum last week.

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But, the deadline transfer window departures from Aston Villa did not include Nakamba, much to the relief of his many fans at Villa Park. The Warriors’ fan base, led by Alvin “Aluvah’’ Zhakata and Chris “Romario” Musekiwa, should breathe a sigh of relief.

They can still hope Nakamba’s stay of execution at Villa Park, will be a turning point for his confidence, and performance.

The emergence of Douglas Luiz has transformed the game-plan of Aston Villa.

Their talismanic attacking midfielder, Jack Grealish, has upped the tempo of offensive play by cleverly sticking in the final third.

Here, his freedom of movement behind the striker and creating width, when he receives the ball, has dramatically changed the previous subdued defensive strategy.

This has reduced Nakamba to a one-dimensional player, who just passed the ball squarely or straight to Grealish, even when he wasn’t under real pressure.

That has changed, indeed, as we now can see the flow of play, from a defensive third, every time Luiz gets the ball.

This exquisite forward play allows their new striker, Ollie Watkins, to drag the central defenders off position by his instinctive runs, off the ball, allowing Grealish to slot into areas of link up play with Luiz. Grealish’s presence, in these areas of the attacking third, has been problematic to most of the opponents.

The two full games that Nakamba played, against Burnley and Newcastle United, have a salient spectrum of positivity in adapting to the offensive tactical play that he lacked before.

His forward play has vastly improved and the strategy of the team has weighed on him to progress play offensively.

This new revelation is aided by new wingback Matty Cash who has gelled well in defence, and his ability to start play from the back and going forward as a wide attacking midfielder.

These hallmarks were missing last season, offensive play was curtailed as the team focused on retaining their presence in the English Premiership.

The back season of 2021 should be the most critical stage of Nakamba’s performances.

The next AFCON qualifiers, in March, should help him to increase his chances of staying with Villa beyond this season.

Our Warriors have a great opportunity to excel, we have Tino Kadewere in splendid form, banging in goals and creating opportunities for others.

Our pride is at stake in the AFCON qualifiers and we demand a full competent squad of all our top-performing players, including Martin Mapisa, the emerging talented goalkeeper in Spain. The Herald