Birmingham — Marvelous Nakamba became the first Zimbabwean to play in the Premier League in 13 years on Monday night.
The midfielder was given his first league start by Dean Smith as Villa battled to a 0-0 draw with West Ham United.
And the 25-year-old impressed in his first performance in front of the Villa Park faithful. Nakamba put in an all-action performance until he was withdrawn from the action in the 81st minute.
Villa reporter Ashley Preece said of Marvelous: “He started off neat and tidy, but misplaced the odd pass which drew groans from the Villa Park supporters. Grew into the game. Just pass him the mop and bucket, he cleared away danger all evening long and looks more of an assured anchorman than Douglas Luiz in just one showing.
“Has more of a stature and really balanced. Very one-footed, but looks effortless when pivoting on his left before making a simple pass. Really liked him in there, strong Premier League debut against some top operators.”
Statistics website Whoscored had the marvellous midfielder second only to Fred Guilbert in their player ratings and although he offered little in attack, Nakamba offered plenty in defence as Villa restricted the Hammers to a single shot at Tom Heaton’s hands.
Reacting to his performance on social media, plenty of Villa fans feel they may have got themselves a bit of a steal here.
After the club offered four candidates for the man of the match award on their official website and social media platforms, fans did their bit to ensure Nakamba came out on top.
Marvelous ended with 35% of the vote, beating Bjorn Engels, Tyrone Mings and John McGinn in the poll which was voted on more than 10 000 times. — Birmingham Mail