Express & Star

Aston Villa's Marvelous Nakamba is still working on his fitness

Villa boss Dean Smith has revealed Marvelous Nakamba is still working to get into shape for the Premier League.


The Zimbabwe international became the club’s 12th and final summer signing when he joined in an £11million move from Club Brugge at the start of the month, but is yet to feature in a matchday squad.

Smith explained how Nakamba has been doing extra work at Bodymoor Heath in order to raise his fitness levels, having sat out most of pre-season.

The 25-year-old suffered an injury early in Zimbabwe’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign and then stayed away from Brugge while waiting for his move to Villa to go through.

That means he has entered the season a little way behind his team-mates, as Smith explained: “Marvelous did extra work in training on Saturday and he’s still a little bit off it. He played one game in the Africa Cup of Nations and got injured and hasn’t done an awful lot of training afterwards, so since he came to us we’ve been working on his fitness.”

Villa, who host Everton on Friday night, currently have centre-back duo James Chester and Kortney Hause sidelined with hamstring injuries sustained during pre-season.

Striker Jonathan Kodjia could also miss out against the Toffees due to a high ankle sprain sustained in the club’s opening-day defeat at Tottenham.

The Ivory Coast international, one of only three recognised strikers on the club’s books, was expected to miss around 10 to 12 days of training with the problem.

Villa’s Carabao Cup second-round tie at Crewe has been confirmed for next Tuesday, August 27.

The Premier League club have received an allocation of 2,344 for their first competitive match at Gresty Road since 1989.