Aston Villa reporter Ashley Preece has apologised to Marvelous Nakamba for giving him a lowly performance rating soon after the Claret and Blue’s 1-0 victory over Arsenal at Villa Park on Saturday afternoon.
Writing for the Birmingham Mail, Preece said Nakamba outshone Arsenal’s £85 million pairing, Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka.
The Zimbabwean international, who cost Villa a modest £11 million from Belgian side Club Brugge in 2019, played the entire 90 minutes in his second premier league start this season. Wrote Preece:
I owe Nakamba a bit of an apology here for dishing out a mediocre 6.5/10 in my player ratings in the immediate aftermath of Saturday’s sweet victory.
I was imploring the Zimbabwean to have a really good game knowing he was harshly dropped after his previous start against Newcastle. However, the midfielder started tentatively and was desperate to impress.
What stuck out was the fact he dallied on the ball, got robbed by Thomas Partey and then fouled Saka for his yellow card. ‘Naka’ improved tenfold after that and won six tackles – more than anyone on the pitch.
Arsenal’s holding midfielders of Partey and Granit Xhaka, meanwhile, made one tackle between them. The duo only cost £85 million!
As for £11 million man Nakamba, it’s now three clean sheets from his three starts this season against Burnley, Newcastle and Arsenal which just underlines his importance to Smith and Villa.
The understated African is something different as well compared to others in the squad and was the perfect fit for Saturday’s battle with Arsenal. Well played, Naka.