Zimbabwe and Aston Villa international midfielder Marvellous Nakamba
is set for the long haul in the English Premiership’s side middle park
following revelations that the man he knocked off the perch Douglas
Luiz could be headed back to Manchester City.
At least that’s the talk in the City corridors of power and Manchester
City boss Pep Guardiola says they could yet take up their option to
buy back the Brazilian midfielder Luiz, 21, in the January transfer
window, according to the Manchester Evening News.
Nakamba, the former Highlanders and Bantu Rovers protégé, has forced
his way into Dean Smith’s starting X1 since settling down, never
putting a foot wrong and earning weekly plaudits across the globe and
Luiz is clearly unpleased.
“When I’m thinking after the international break – November, December,
January, February – I’m a little bit concerned because in a few
positions we don’t have enough players,” said Guardiola to the
Manchester Evening News two Fridays ago, ahead of the two teams’ clash
at the Etihad Stadium.
It’s a game that did not end well for Nakamba and Luiz, who both
started as the English champions, mauled Villa 3-0 after a second
blitz led by Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Ilkay Gundogan.
A week later, Villa were humbled 2-1 at home by EPL leaders Liverpool
with Nakamba turning in a man of the match performance before a
five-minute blitzkrieg saw the Reds overturn a 1-0 deficit via Andy
Robertson and Senegalese star Sadio Mane, who netted the winner in the
“I would prefer all the players had no injuries but I have to [come up
with solutions]. I said when Laporte happened that it is what it is.
We can’t start complaining, ‘oh what bad luck’.
Guardiola, the former Barcelona midfield general and later manager,
said a work permit issue has derailed Luiz’s progress, but the ‘talent
is definitely there’.
“He would be here if a work permit were possible if the Premier League
said it would be possible but now he is at Aston Villa,” he said.
“We have an option to get him back but sometimes life is like this. We
wanted him because last season we had problems in that position
because we didn’t buy a holding midfielder.
“We wanted him before so we thought about it but the rules with the
work permit meant it was not possible. I thought he would be here with
the pre-season he played last year in the States, he was really good.
I think he had the quality to play with us but he could not do it.
“The talent is always there, we’ll see at the end of the season what
his level is but the quality is always there.”
Luiz spent two seasons on on loan at City’s Spanish club Girona before
making the permanent switch to Villa.
He has been named in for next week’s two international friendly
matches for the Copa America champions against perennial rivals
Argentina and South Korea.
The Luiz-Nakamba battle resembles that of former Warriors skipper
Knowledge Musona and Liverpool hotshot Roberto Firmino.
Both played together at Hoffeinhem in the German Bundesliga before the
Brazilian was snapped by EPL giants Liverpool. Now he is a darling of
Anfield and a European champion while Musona is struggling to make
even the match day 18 at Anderlecht in the Belgian top flight.
Luiz is not a regular at Villa unless if manager Dean Smith decides to
play with a double anchor, but when City comes calling, who says no?
Besides guarantees of a fat pay cheque, the Brazilian could be lifting
trophies and playing in the Uefa Champions League every season.