This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Amidst all of Aston Villa’s summer transfer business in which the club shelled out over £130m on new arrivals, the signing of Marvelous Nakamba is currently proving to be one of Dean Smith’s shrewdest additions and the Zimbabwean international has been speaking out regarding his time so far in the West Midlands.
Speaking to The Herald, Nakamba said: “The (Villa) fans are very friendly, they are amazing, even if we walk in the streets, they are very supportive. I am feeling at home and enjoying the experience.
“I am giving everything, it is a new league and I am trying to adjust to the new environment, now I am more mature, I have played somewhere and it is a bit easy to adapt.”
“I am 25 now and I think I can handle the pressure. For me it is an honour playing against the best players in the world week-in-week-out.”
Nakamba, 25, arrived from Club Brugges in an £11m deal in July, and the defensive midfielder has featured regularly for Smith’s side in the current campaign – starting all of Villa’s last eight league matches.
The summer signing has nailed down a regular starting berth at the expense of Douglas Luiz who had initially impressed for the newly-promoted side, but Nakamba’s relentless work ethic and tenacity in central midfield is proving to be exactly what Smith is looking for in the centre of the park.
Although the club are currently on a tricky run of form, having lost their last three league matches to Manchester City, Liverpool and Wolves, Nakamba will be looking to get his club back on track when they host Newcastle following the conclusion of the international break.
There can be no doubting the former Club Brugges man is enjoying his time so far in the English top-flight and is impressing accordingly, too.
Strong in the tackle, Villa’s number 11 has won 3.8 of them per game in 2019/20, as well as producing 1.8 interceptions. He’s certainly been a big presence.