Noel Whelan has offered his thoughts on Everton’s attempts to land Aston Villa beast Marvelous Nakamba.
Former Premier League forward Noel Whelan has suggested that Aston Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba could add some “energy and life” to Everton’s squad this summer. He told Football Insider:
“Everton bought a couple of midfield players last season, very good ones at that, who bring energy.
“Maybe Rafa Benitez has seen something in the side that he feels they need to be successful and progress. Look, you can never have enough energy in midfield. That’s the place on the field that you want to control and dominate.
“To have somebody with a bit more energy and tenacity about him… You’ve got Allan that they brought in last year in that defensive role.
“We know every time a new manager comes in he always wants to bring in his own players. That’s his stamp on the team. This could be one player he’s looked at before and feels could bring some energy and life to that midfield.”
This comes after it was revealed by The Telegraph earlier this month that Everton and Watford are both interested in signing the enforcer from Villa before the end of the transfer window.
Marcel Brands could re-energise Everton’s midfield options with a deal for Nakamba in the closing weeks of the window. The Toffees chief must work hard to ensure that he can land the powerhouse ahead of Watford to bolster Rafa Benitez’s squad and bring in extra depth and energy the Spaniard’s arsenal of workmen in the middle of the park.
Nakamba struggled for game time in the 2020/21 campaign, but comparing his form in 2019/20 to that of Tom Davies and Andre Gomes last season makes him appear to be a shrewd signing on paper. Per 90 in the Premier League, the Villa man made more ball recoveries, tackles and interceptions than the Toffees duo. He also made more clearances and blocks combined and won more duels than Davies and was level with Gomes on that front.
This suggests that he is able to get around the pitch more than the pair at Premier League level. He has proven that he can win the ball back with a higher degree of efficiency, backing up Whelan’s comments about him bringing more life and energy to the team.
Benitez could love having another busy body in the midfield to rat about and recover possession as it not only helps the defence but also gives Everton more chances to hit teams on the counter. Nakamba could make a crucial tackle and then set, for example, Andros Townsend away on the wing for him to then cross it into the box for Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison to score.
As Whelan says, with Allan already on the team, Benitez could build a dynamic midfield partnership with the £30k-a-week earning Nakamba alongside him.