ZIMBABWE international midfielder Marvelous Nakamba could be edging closer to a return in the Aston Villa starting lineup after recently returning to the match day squad during the team’s 2-1 victory against Leeds United at Villa Park last Friday.
The recall to the match-day squad is a significant positive step for Nakamba having been confined to the terraces for two months.
The 28-year-old defensive midfielder is yet to make an appearance in the 2022/23 English Premiership as he was an unused substitute during Villa’s latest win.
It was the ninth time this season out of the 19 league games this season that Nakamba has been an unused substitute which has led to reports that he could be on his way out at the Birmingham-based club.
Nakamba has not made an appearance for Aston Villa since May 5 when he came off the bench in a 3-2 loss to Manchester City on the final day of the 2021/22 season Premier League season.
Then, Nakamba replaced Brazilian Phillipe Coutinho in the 72nd minute with Aston Villa leading 2-0; before Manchester City went on to win the tie 3-2 after scoring all their goals inside five minutes.
Many pundits have called for Nakamba to leave Villa Park to breathe new life in his career but it appears that the midfielder is unlikely to move during the January transfer window period.
In the event that he is not given a new contract at Villa as is largely expected, Nakamba could leave the club as a free agent when his contract lapses in June 2024.
Last week, Birmingham Mail ran an online poll titled “keep or sell” with fans voting for Coutinho, Nakamba and Morgan Sanson to go. Coutinho polled 44, 2% of the votes, with Sanson second on 38% while Nakamba got 29, 3%.
Nakamba has previously been linked with moves to Newcastle, Everton and Crystal Palace.