Birmingham – Gabby Agbonlahor has heaped praise on Marvelous Nakamba after his display for Aston Villa in their narrow 2-1 loss to Man City.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, Villa’s record Premier League goal scorer insisted Steven Gerrard will be pleased with Nakamba’s tackling and simple passes and he does not need to do any more.
The fourth Zimbabwean to play in the Premier League has started all three games under Gerrard.
According to sofascore, he made six tackles against Man City – the most of anyone on the pitch alongside Matty Cash.
Nakamba was substituted after 77 minutes and ended the game with a pass completion rate of 80 per cent.
“I like Nakamba.” Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
“Sometimes his passing can let him down but that role he plays is all about breaking the play up.
“He’s got legs, can tackle and make the simple pass. Give it to McGinn, give it to Ramsey, give it to Young and you’re job is done. He doesn’t have to play Holywood balls like Steven Gerrard did.
“He’s not asking that from Nakamba, he wants him to do his job, keep it simple, make those tackles and let the attacking players do their job. He can then cover for them.
“It now means there’s some competition in there. Douglas Luiz knows he is not going to start every game. You want competition in every single place otherwise players get comfortable.”
As quoted by Birmingham Live ahead of the defeat to Man City (30 November), Gerrad revealed Nakamba had “stood up and jumped out” in training.
He labelled the 27-year-old’s performances as “outstanding”.