Nakamba’s strengths and weaknesses: What Aston Villa new boy can offer Dean Smith – opinion

This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets… 

Aston Villa’s move for Marvelous Nakamba was a strange pursuit.

Their interest in the midfielder originally spawned back in June, yet after he tried to force through a move by skipping training, it was suggested the deal was off.

As it happens, they’ve now actually signed the player.

Sky Sports reported that an £11m fee had been agreed with Club Brugge, the same side Villa paid £22m to for Wesley.

The Zimbabwe international was to undergo a medical this week per the same outlet but The Herald claims proceedings had stalled over personal terms and a work permit.

However, he’s now become the club’s 12th addition of the transfer window, adding further bodies to a midfield which now bolsters Douglas Luiz too.

But what exactly could Nakamba bring to Dean Smith’s side?

One of his outstanding qualities is in regards to tackling. Throughout the 2018/19 Champions League he won 4.4 tackles per game, a statistic that puts him way above anyone in the current Villa side and offers a terrific glimpse of the pure strength he has.

For an indication of how good that tally is, John McGinn was the Villans’ best player in that regard, winning 2.1 in the Championship.

But his reading of the game is also exceptional, making three interceptions on average every 90 minutes. Once more, this puts him above everyone at the club last term. Rather remarkably Mile Jedinak offered the most in that regard, making 1.7 per outing.

Check out what happened when Thogden mixed with some of Montenegro’s craziest ultras in the video below…

Nakamba also boasted a pass success rate that should make him fit right in at Villa Park, a statistic that places him tenth on the list of those to play in the claret and blue throughout last season.

Yet despite that, the 25-year-old still lacks discipline.

This was evident in the fact he made 1.2 fouls every game on average and was also unsuccessful with 1.2 touches. For a midfielder who made just 0.4 dribbles, this was a huge negative to his play in the Champions League.

Having now signed, it’ll be interesting to see whether he has the capabilities to beat either Conor Hourihane or Douglas to a spot at the base of the midfield.

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