Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of Club Brugge defensive midfielder Marvelous Nakamba for an undisclosed fee.
This makes the Zimbabwe international Villa’s 12th signing of the summer transfer window.
Despite never having played in a top domestic league, Nakamba has experience of facing tough opposition, having competed in the Champions League.
When asked about his new acquisition, Dean Smith said: “Marvelous fits the criteria of the type of player we were looking for.
“He’s very mobile, he’s very good in possession and he will fit in with our style of play.”
Nakamba is arguably the most natural defensive midfielder Villa have at their disposal.
As per WhoScored, the Zimbabwean’s tackling is very strong, while passing, concentration and ball interceptions are also strengths of his.
Douglas Luiz, who is also a new signing, played across centre-midfield and defensive-midfield last season and his main strength is dribbling on WhoScored – not the most necessary quality for a player in the holding role to have.
In comparison, Conor Hourihane often played as the deepest of Villa’s midfield three last season (as highlighted by The Irish Post), though his strengths are mainly attacking based: his key passes are very strong, with set pieces, long shots, passing and concentration his other qualities – while the attacking potential he offers is also highlighted by his tally of eight goals and 11 assists last term.
Having somebody like Nakamba, whose game focuses around winning the ball back and distributing it to his teammates, will help the club in both the offensive and defensive phases.
With his distribution he can get the ball to Jack Grealish, John McGinn and even Hourihane who will be freed up to roam further forward, while his defensive quality will help protect Smith’s new-look defence.
Holding midfield could be a very important position for Villa this season, as they look to thrive with their style of football in a higher division – having somebody of Nakamba’s ilk can help them do this.
It has taken a while to get this deal over the line, though it is another important deal completed for the Villans.
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