Transfer insider Dean Jones insists that Aston Villa will attempt to sign a new midfielder in the January transfer window to replace Marvelous Nakamba after his injury blow.
The Zimbabwe international is out for at least three months after sustaining a knee injury, meaning he is also missing the African Cup of Nations.
What’s the latest with Villa?
Under Steven Gerrard, the club are attempting to climb back into the top 10.
They are on a run of two successive defeats after losing to both Chelsea and Brentford but they are currently 13th in the Premier League, three points behind 10th-placed Leicester City, with Nakamba missing both of those games.
Nakamba has been central to Villa’s form throughout this season and started all of Gerrard’s matches in charge prior to sustaining his injury against Liverpool.
He has been with the club since 2019 and has made a total of 64 appearances in defensive midfield, regularly knitting together defence and attack.
And Jones believes that the club will dip into the transfer market to try to replace Nakamba, now that the window has opened.
Villa have utilised both Douglas Luiz and youngster Jacob Ramsey in midfield during his absence.
As a result, it seems somewhat inevitable that a deal will be looked at for a replacement.
What has Jones said?
Speaking to GiveMeSport, the transfer insider said: “Losing Nakamba was a big blow and I think that they’re going to look to fix that.”
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How good has Nakamba been?
He’s an excellent option in defensive midfield and had emerged as a key player prior to Nakamba’s injury.
As defensive midfielders go, the Zimbabwean has some genuinely excellent statistical numbers.
Per fbref, he is in the top 20 per cent of midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues when it comes to blocks, pressures, and tackles, while he is also excellent when it comes to passing accuracy.
Bringing in a new anchor man option for Gerrard is going to be vital in January but the injured man may well be remarkably difficult to replace, given the lack of general movement in the winter transfer window.
The pressure is on this month and their bid to finish in the top 10 may well depend on whether a replacement can be sourced.