BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA AS the European winter transfer window approaches this January, key questions on Zimbabwean players, whose careers are at crossroads could be answered, particularly that of Aston Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba, who is struggling for game time.
Teenage Hadebe playing his trade in Turkey seemed to have been facing the same fate, yet his situation has improved over the last two weeks.
Nakamba earned a rare start in a midweek league tie against Burnley largely due to injuries and suspension and questions over his Villa career continue to linger.
Since a 10-minute appearance in the side’s shocking 7-2 victory over champions Liverpool at the start of October, the Zimbabwean international has largely found himself in the cold.
A temporary move elsewhere or even a permanent one for Nakamba this January transfer window can perhaps put him in a strong position to get game time.
Some players have been loaned by their clubs before and went on to establish themselves as some of the world’s top players.
The football family still have memories of Belgian international Kevin De Bruyne, who after joining English club Chelsea, was used sparingly and then loaned to Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga. He went on to sign for Wolfsburg in 2014, where he flourished to become one of the best players in the Bundesliga. De Bruyne then returned to England to join Manchester City whom he has helped to two league titles.
Egyptian forward Mohammed Salah also faced a similar situation to that of Nakamba after he was signed by Chelsea from Basel in Switzerland in 2014.
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However, after struggling for game time, the winger was allowed to leave on loan to Serie A clubs Fiorentina and Roma, with the latter eventually signing him permanently.
He returned to England to join Liverpool and we all know what he has done for the English champions.
Nakamba, however, believes he can wriggle himself out of the situation and play a big part for the club.
“Every time I am needed, I am always ready for the team. We have a group of good players, who are pushing each other in training,” Nakamba told the club website after the draw against Burnely.
“We have to continue to give our best in each and every game. We have to try to keep getting better and better.
“We’re looking forward to the next game, the derby. We have to go back to the drawing board as a group and focus on the next match.”
Recent reports in Turkey suggest that Galatasaray are considering a loan approach for the former Club Brugge midfielder ahead of the January transfer window.
Follow Tawanda on Twitter @tawatafi