By Graham Hill
MARVELOUS Nakamba is Villa’s latest signing – but he has been tipped to play in one of Europe’s top league for years after impressing as a youngster in Zimbabwe.
Villa agreed an £11million fee with Belgian club Bruges – who have also supplied £22million record signing Wesley this summer – for Nakamba.
Fans will be hoping Marvelous, 25, lives up to his name – and the coaches who have monitored his progress believe he will.
He played his football originally at Menthembe Ndlovu’s Bantu Rovers in Zimbabwe’s second city of Bulawayo, making his top-flight debut as a 16-year-old back in 2010.
But such was the impression he made back then that his European exploits hardly surprise Ndlovu who told ESPN: “I am not surprised. I am delighted for him, absolutely, but I think not surprised.
“He was always, in my view, a player with potential beyond Zimbabwe. It was clear, at least to me early on that he had that.”
Taurai Mangwiro, who coached Nakamba in the Zimbabwe U-20 team, feels the time is right for the player to moves to the next level.
Mangwiro said to ESPN: ”I know he has been doing very well and I am happy for him. We can only wish him well, but he has the talent to make it on the big stage.
“He has improved a lot in terms of his skill and physic since those early days. I am sure he is ready to play for any team now.”
But as long ago as 2013, Mangwiro told The Zimbabwean newspaper: “He is a talented young player who did a very good job for us at the Cosafa Championships in 2010 and 2011.
“He was still very young then, but he proved to be an influential member of the team and scored a great goal in one of our games in 2010.
“He has a wonderful left foot – and passing is one of his strengths. He also has an eye for the goal and he has the potential to become a great player for Zimbabwe.”