The defensive midfielder had been afforded extra break over the summer, having participated at the African Cup of Nations with Zimbabwe, though he didn’t report back on Monday morning.
This comes after a €10 million offer from Aston Villa was turned down by the club, who have already sold Wesley to The Villans.
Nakamba is holding out for a move, though Club Brugge have maintained the offer that came in was below their expectations.
On WhoScored, the Zimbabwean is cited as being very strong at tackling, while passing, concentration and ball interceptions are also among his strengths.
This skillset would be of benefit to Aston Villa, as they have lost holding midfielders in the side now that Mile Jedinak and Glenn Whelan have left – having made 1.2 and 1.3 tackles per game respectively. Indeed, Nakamba made 1 tackle and 4 interceptions per 90 mins at the Africa Cup of Nations, while ESPN’s detailed write-up of him back in 2018 hint at a strong presence in the deeper parts of the midfield.
‘A captivating mix of flair and tenacity to Nakamba’s game, qualities which enable him to thrive in deep midfield areas where he uses his sheer strength to win duels, and his sharp brain to the team help retain possession’, wrote Simba Mushati.
Conor Hourihane has been filling the role, but his strengths are more centred around creation and technical ability – with his strongest traits including key passes, taking set-pieces and long shots.
This means the club are missing a midfield protector who can shield the backline. They avoided punishment in the Championship on their stunning unbeaten run but the Premier League is obviously another step up in quality.
Aston Villa should definitely be looking to bring in a natural holding midfielder who will offer greater protection to the backline following the exits of Whelan and Jedinak.
Alongside John McGinn and Jack Grealish in a midfield three, or even as a pivot with the latter ahead of them as a No.10, someone as combative as Nakamba could help ensure the team remains solid and compact.
Villa fans, how pressing is your need for a holding midfielder? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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