Aston Villa team news: 'Frustrating' £10.8m forgotten man may get big chance vs Wolves

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The Express & Star journalist Luke Hatfield has pointed out a major flaw in Aston Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba's game.

The 27-year-old has been a bit-part player at Villa Park this term, but could be set to start the Midlands derby at home to Wolves this weekend.

What's the latest news on Nakamba?

Nakamba joined Villa from Club Brugge for £10.8m in 2019, and featured regularly in his first season at the club, playing 29 times in the Premier League.

However, his game time has been restricted since then, as he was involved in just 13 top-flight matches last term, and has only started once in the league in 2021/22.

He could be set for a rare start tomorrow, though, with Douglas Luiz potentially missing out due to a lack of preparation time after being on international duty with Brazil.



What has Hatfield said about Nakamba?

The 23-cap international has become a fringe player at Villa, and Hatfield has hinted that this may be down to his tendency to give the ball away cheaply.

Speaking about the strengths and weaknesses of Nakamba's game, Hatfield told GIVEMESPORT: “The frustration with him is normally that he’s so good at winning the ball back, but then he can win it back and then instantly give it away at times, which is something he maybe needs to cut out of his game.”

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Can Nakamba potentially fill the void left behind by Luiz?

It is not guaranteed that Luiz will miss out tomorrow, but given that he is not expected to return from Brazil until less than 24 hours before Villa play Wolves, it seems likely that he won't be ready to start.

This could hand a big opportunity to Nakamba, who has not been in the starting XI in the Premier League since Villa's opening day defeat to Watford.

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If he does play, he will have big shoes to fill. According to WhoScored, Luiz has been Villa's best player this season, receiving an average match rating of 6.99. This is significantly higher than Nakamba's mark of 6.30, which sees him rank 18th when compared to his teammates.

Should Nakamba continue to perform at that level against Wolves, it seems likely that Luiz will be sorely missed, so the Zimbabwean needs to up his game considerably to match Wolves' midfield and give Villa the best chance possible of claiming the all-important three points.

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