Edwards lauds Zimbabwe star Nakamba as he tops Premier League tackle chart

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LUTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 23: Marvelous Nakamba of Luton Town in action during the Premier League match between Luton Town and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Kenilworth Road on September 23, 2023 in Luton, England. (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)

Luton boss Rob Edwards heaped massive praise on midfielder Marvelous Nakamba after he produced another terrific performance during Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Everton.

The Zimbabwean international had been one of the stars of Town’s promotion to the top flight last term as after joining on loan from Aston Villa in January, played a huge role in the Hatters achieving their top flight status via the play-offs.

A summer of uncertainty then saw Nakamba finally move to Kenilworth Road on a permanent basis on July 20, penning a three year deal with the club.

Without a full pre-season under his belt, it took the former Club Brugge and Vitesse Arnhem player, who had 58 Premier League outings under his belt, but none since May 2022, time to readjust to the level once more.

Marvelous Nakamba tussles with Everton’s James Garner at Goodison Park on Saturday – pic: George Wood/Getty Images

He started to show signs of rediscovering his form during the 2-1 defeat to West Ham United, and then followed that up with fine displays against Fulham and Wolves.

It was at Goodison Park that he really shone once more though, particularly in the second half as the Hatters dug in to keep their hosts at bay and hold on to their 2-1 victory.

Making six tackles with two interceptions, while also having the visitors’ best passing accuracy of just under 75 percent, it means that Nakamba is now up to 26 tackles this term, the highest in the entire Premier League.

It puts him above Spurs’ Yves Bissouma and West Ham’s Lucas Paquetá, with team-mate Amari’i Bell in fourth place as well, with Edwards saying: “It shows that maybe we haven’t got the ball as much as others that we have to make more tackles as well, we’re going to need him to keep doing that!

“He was excellent, I love that saying, 70 percent of the world is covered by water, the other 30 percent by Marvelous Nakamba, I love that.

“I saw that again the other day, I was laughing to myself, as he’s brilliant.

“He’s some man, he just goes about his business in a real humble way.

“His performance was top the other day, really, really influential.

“He does the stuff that people won’t always see, and doesn’t want all the praise for it either, he just gets on and is a real top player, a top, top guy.”

 

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