Crystal Palace have been linked with a move for Aston Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba as new Eagles manager Patrick Vieira continues to overhaul the first team squad.
According to the Daily Mail, Palace are ready to test Villa’s resolve by launching a move for the combative 27-year-old this summer.
The report added that fellow Premier League outfit Everton are interested in acquiring Nakamba’s services, so Vieira may need to move quickly in order to secure the Zimbabwean.
Nakamba arrived at Villa Park from Club Brugge back in August 2019 and has settled into life on English shores fairly well, making 50 appearances for the Midlands outfit in all competitions. He put in a string of solid, if not eye-catching, performances during his debut campaign, but former Villan Alan Hutton noticed his telling contribution.
When speaking to Football Insider, the Scot said: “I think Nakamba’s done well. Let’s not kid ourselves; it’s been a difficult season; it was always going to be a difficult season.
“I think Nakamba can come out after this season thinking he’s played his part. I think he is probably underrated as well. There’s so much focus on the likes of Tyrone, Jack, John, even Wesley. It’s been difficult, but I think in terms of underrated, Nakamba.
“He’s went about his business very well, especially when the spotlight has been on other members of the squad.”
However, after the arrivals of Douglas Luiz and Morgan Sanson, Nakamba slipped down the pecking order at Villa Park and was limited to just nine Premier League starts last term. That has led to the Zimbabwe international being linked with pastures new, and he could become the latest player to join Vieira’s revolution in south London.
Current club captain Luka Milivojevic is the favoured holding midfielder at Selhurst Park, but the 30-year-old’s performances have been declining for the last couple of campaigns, and Nakamba’s underlying numbers suggest that he would be an upgrade on the Serbian.
As per FBRef.com, Nakamba recorded 2.53 blocks and 2.77 tackles per game last season, bettering Milivojevic’s tallies of 1.79 and 2.56 respectively. The Villa man was also more effective with the ball at his feet, achieving a pass completion rate of 85.7% compared to Milivojevic’s 81.1%, showcasing the improvement that his arrival would likely bring.
It’s unknown how much Villa manager Dean Smith would demand for the £6.3m-rated beast, but Nakamba would provide a solid base to Vieira’s new-look Palace, and Eagles chairman Steve Parish must swoop for the 27-year-old if the transfer budget allows.