BY Kevin Mapasure
Aston Villa coach Dean Smith has revealed that his club tracked Warriors midfielder Marvelous Nakamba for a long time before they eventually signed him in a deal believed to be over £10 million last week.
Smith has been raving about his new signings and is particularly happy that they managed to recruit Nakamba, Egypt’s Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim Hassan popularly known as Trezeguet and Brazilian forward Wesley Moraes.
He said he was looking to build a healthy competition for places as they prepare for the new season that kicks off on Friday night with a match between Liverpool and Norwich.
Villa, who are making a return to the topflight after a stint in the second tier, start off with a tough away fixture against Tottenham.
Smith told the club’s website that he feels fortunate to have completed signing Nakamba.
He said that the new players that he has brought have integrated well into the system, but they are still in the market for more players ahead of the deadline tomorrow.
“The integration has been seamless. We have had to build all the way. They (new signings) are players that we have had our eyes on for quite a long time. We sent our recruitment team to go and watch them. The players we have brought like Trezeguet, we went to Egypt to watch him and we really liked him. Marvelous, wonderful name to have, he is a lovely lad and another one that we have been watching a lot,” Smith said. “I had been watching Club Brugge play a lot. When we were watching Wesley we also got to see Marvelous playing, we liked him and we are quite fortunate to get both deals done.”
In Egypt, Smith also got to watch Nakamba in action for Zimbabwe when they clashed with the hosts in the Africa Cup of Nations curtain raiser.
Nakamba played well in that match, but missed subsequent matches due to an injury. While Nakamba’s arrival has brought a buzz at Villa Park, he will face stiff competition for places with other players that were already at the club and others that have come in.
“I like the competitive edge that we have. We have good competition for places in all positions and as a coach that’s what you want. We have added quality.”