For any Aston Villa or Newcastle United fans wondering what £20 million gets you these days, the answer is a tough-tackling defensive midfielder whose stats put N’Golo Kante to shame.
With a name like Marvelous Nakamba, you better be good. And, fortunately, the Club Brugge midfielder is.
So much so that, according to Zimbabwean news outlet Chronicle, Aston Villa and Newcastle are interested in a player who is expected to cost a hefty £20 million. Watford have apparently identified Nakamba as a potential replacement for Abdoulaye Doucoure too.
A 25-year-old who made his name at Vitesse Arnhem before moving to Belgium in 2017, Nakamba might not be a household name but, crucially, nor was Kante when he joined Leicester City four years ago.
Now viewed by many as the world’s premiere ball-winning midfielder, Kante averaged just 1.75 tackles and one interception per game in the Premier League and Europa League last season, even if he had been used in a more advanced role by Maurizio Sarri.
Despite this, even in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 campaigns, when Kante was patrolling the lines just in front of Chelsea’s defence, his stats still cannot match up with Nakamba’s.
During Brugge’s 2018/19 Champions League journey, when they held their own against Monaco, Atletico Madrid and Dortmund, Nakamba stepped up to the plate in style with a remarkable 4.4 interceptions and three tackles per game.
These statistics alone appear to justify a £20 million price-tag.
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