Nakamba lands at Luton Town
ASTON Villa’s Warriors midfielder Marvelous Nakamba is taking a status downgrade with a loan move to English Championship side Luton Town where he can however, resuscitate his limping career at a team and level he is guaranteed game time, at least.
The 29-year-old whose contract with the Birmingham side expires mid-next year has been living on borrowed time at Villa Park having been openly told by manager Unai Emery to look for an alternative home.
And with no suitors showing up, Nakamba’s situation was increasingly becoming desperate with the clock ticking towards deadline which lapsed last night.
So delicate was the position, Nakamba was facing the sad reality of being offloaded.
However, West Bromwich Albion, who also play in the English Championship where they are 10th on the table had shown interest on Monday but they couldn’t act quick enough.
And they were overtaken by Luton Town who wasted no time in agreeing a loan move for the former Bantu Rovers man.
He underwent his medicals at The Hatters yesterday afternoon with the Zimbabwean joining the Bedfordshire club yesterday evening.
Luton Town confirmed on their website last night they had captured the signature of the Zimbabwean midfielder.
“We are delighted to announce the loan signing of Aston Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba for the remainder of the season” read the statement on Luton Town’s website.
The club manager Rob Edwards hailed Nakamba as a hardworking midfielder who can help his team secure promotion into the EPL.
“We’re so pleased to be able to bring Marvelous in. That position is one we’ve been looking to fill for a while. I think we’ve got a lot of good midfielders, but not many natural, deep midfield players and I really like what he’s about,” Edwards told the club site.
“He’s got a brilliant attitude, great physicality, good quality and I think he really suits the way we play, so he will fit in really well with us.
“He’s had amazing experiences playing in the Premier League and Champions League, and we want him to bring all of that to try to help improve us.
“There are difficult decisions within this window, but everything that we are trying to do is always with an aim to try to keep improving and moving forward, and we feel that being able to get Marvelous in the building to the end of the season is a real coup for us.”
Nakamba was equally elated with the move.
Speaking after finalising his medical at The Brache, Nakamba said: “I’m very happy to be here at Luton Town. I know Henri Lansbury from Aston Villa and Ethan Horvath because I played with him at Club Brugge, so it’s a good feeling to see them again,” he said.
“I spoke with the gaffer and he told me about the project of the club and I told him my situation, that it was interesting for me to come over here.
“I think it’s good for the club, great for me and I love the ambition at the club. I’m looking forward to contributing to help the team.”
Nakamba was told he can leave Villa this month after a conversation with (Villa manager) Unai Emery.
The Villa boss spoke with a number of first-team stars earlier this month to inform them that they could find new clubs before the window shuts. Villa have let go of Cameron Archer and Morgan Sanson on loan, while Fredric Guilbert has joined the midfielder in Strasborg on a permanent contract.”
Nakamba will be hoping to help the Rob Edwards’ side to secure at least a play-off spot by the end of the season.
Luton Town are currently seventh in the Championship table with 42 points in 27 games (before their match against Cardiff City last night).
They are 20 points behind leaders Burnley and 17 adrift of an automatic qualification slot currently occupied by Sheffield United.
They can still get promoted via the play-offs if they can notch a top-six place in the marathon.
And Nakamba, who could as well move permanently to Luton Town at the end of the loan deal according to reports could still bounce back in the top-flight, in style should The Hatters clip promotion.
He is still a highly-regarded individual across England despite some hesitancy by top-flight clubs in that country to draw him to their homes.
Although there was reported interest from Fulham, Nottingham Forest and Newcastle, there were no formal requests made by those teams to Villa.
Nakamba who has accumulated 26 caps with the Warriors, has not featured for Aston Villa this season either under the sacked Steven Gerrard or Emery.
His last appearance for the club came against Manchester City in a 3-2 loss at the end of last season.
The defensive midfielder arrived at Villa Park from Club Brugge in 2019 for a fee in the region of US$11 million and walked straight into the first 11 under former manager Dean Smith.
He played 29 games in his first season before falling down the perking order in the two seasons that followed.
And he will be hoping to find himself again with a fresh start at Luton Town.