ZIMBABWEAN international Marvelous Nakamba could face Newcastle on Friday for the first time
since they were linked with his signature from Aston Villa in January.
This was after Nakamba’s impressive display in the reverse fixture, in a game in which Aston Villa
beat Newcastle 2-nil.
Nakamba has not yet sealed a place in the first 11 at Villa.
Absence of key player Jack Grealish may mean reduced attacking efficiency for Villa and manager
Dean Smith may want more protection for his defence to avoid defeat.
“Jack’s been making really good progress but, unfortunately, he won’t make Newcastle,” Smith was quoted by Birmingham Live as saying.
“He has been ill this week so he’s been off for a couple of days as well, but we’re hopeful for the Tottenham game now, that’s for sure.”
Newcastle’s only league victory in the past seven attempts against Villa at St James’ Park came in February 2017.
If Villa can win the game, it will be the second time that they have completed a double over Newcastle since the 2004/05 season.
For Nakamba it is much more than that.
If he can make it into the team, it will be an opportunity to show Newcastle what they are missing at a time his chances at Aston Villa could be further limited next season.
Already, Aston Villa are being linked with a possible move for Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge. Berge can play as a defensive midfielder.
And given Sheffield are going down, this could be a move more likely, further complicating Nakamba’s position at the club.
Aston Villa has also been linked with Burnley’s Josh Brownhill who is a central midfielder.
If Smith’s signings sail through for next season, some players demanding first team places could be
forced to seek moves elsewhere.