MARVELOUS Nakamba’s hopes of making a positive impression on his new Aston Villa boss Steven Gerard suffered a major blow after suffering an injury while on national duty with the Warriors.
The 27-year-old midfield enforcer sat out of Zimbabwe’s one-all draw against Ethiopia in their final 2022 World Cup qualifier at the National Sports Stadium Sunday with a groin injury.
Nakamba was reportedly injured in the penultimate qualifier against South Africa at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg last Thursday which Zimbabwe lost 1-0.
The injury could not have come at a worse time for the Zimbabwe international who is looking to turn over a new leaf following the arrival of the Liverpool legend Gerrard as the new manager at Villa Park.
Gerrard replaced Dean Smith last week following the latter’s dismissal after a string of poor results.
Under Smith, Nakamba struggled for regular game time, making 59 appearances, but most of them as a substitute. He played second fiddle to more-attack minded Brazilian international Douglas Luiz.
With the new coach’s style of play reportedly suiting his qualities, Nakamba is strongly tipped to enjoy a new lease of life under Gerrard’s mentorship.
But the recent injury setback could derail Nakamba’s pursuit for a regular place in the first team when Gerard begins his tenure against Brighton Saturday.
The Birmingham Mail revealed Monday Nakamba is set to be assessed by Villa medical staff ahead of the fixture, with his availability for the match against Brighton still unclear.
Villa are also checking on the fitness of his fellow midfielder, Luiz, who has missed the last two Premier League matches with a hamstring issue.