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Nakamba's Aston Villa survives

by Staff reporter
26 Jul 2020 at 18:13hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE international Marvelous Nakamba's Aston Villa will play Premier League football next season after a draw at West Ham was enough to ensure they escaped relegation on the final day of the league campaign.

Hometown hero and captain Jack Grealish looked to have sealed a win for Villa with a powerful strike in the 84th minute, but Andriy Yarmolenko's deflected leveller soon after made it a nervy finale for the visitors.

They hung on though and the point, coupled with a defeat for Watford at Arsenal, ensured Villa's survival and consigned the Hornets to the Championship next season along with Bournemouth, whose win at Everton was not enough.

It caps an impressive end to the season for Dean Smith's side, who were seven points from safety two weeks ago but then put together their first four-game unbeaten run of 2019-20 to survive.

It was a game of few chances at the London Stadium, although the in-form Michail Antonio would have made Villa's afternoon a lot more tense had he not blazed a shot wide with just the keeper to beat in the first half.

West Ham secured their own Premier League place for 2020-21 with a draw at Manchester United on Wednesday.

Nakamba has made 29 appearances so far in his first season in the English premiership for Aston Villa.

The 26-year-old midfield maestro's stats also include five cup competition appearances, one of which was the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City in February.

The 12-million euro switch to Villa was Nakamba's biggest career move as he became only the fourth Zimbabwean player after legend Bruce Grobbelaar, Peter Ndlovu and Benjani Mwaruwari to play in the lucrative English league.

Nakamba's future with Aston Villa is under scrutiny after an underwhelming season under coach Dean Smith's watch, having been relegated to substitute appearances since football resumed following the Covid-19 enforced break.

Nakamba is reportedly being watched by Turkish top club Trabzonspor as a possible replacement for Nigerian veteran star Mikel Obi who left the club about four months ago.

While Trabzonspor dangle the carrot of UEFA Champions League football for Nakamba, they may not be able to afford the player's salary as well as the glamour and glitter of the premiership.

Source - BBC

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