Nakamba inline for Luton Town debut against Stoke City

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By Sports Reporter

ZIMBABWE international midfielder Marvelous Nakamba is in line to make his Luton Town debut when they host Stoke City in an EFL Championship match on Saturday after he immediately started training with his new teammates soon after joining the club.

The 29-year-old defensive midfielder joined Luton Town on a loan deal until the end of the season from Aston Villa earlier this week as he looks to rebuild his career after a difficult few months.

After initially starting off as a regular in the Aston Villa lineup, Nakamba was frozen out of the team at the start of the season, prompting him to leave the club in search of game time.

His last senior outing was the final day 3-2 defeat against Manchester City in May 2022, with his last start coming in the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace a week earlier.

He was on the bench for Villa under Steven Gerrard at the start of the season, before groin and knee issues saw him sidelined for two months, until returning to the squad for the 2-1 victory over Leeds United recently.

Luton assistant boss Paul Trollope revealed that a decision on Nakamba’s participation in Saturday’s encounter was yet to be made but the Zimbabwean star has already started making an impression on his new teammates and coaches.

“We’re assessing that. He’s had his first session with the players this morning,” Trollope said in an interview with Luton Today on Thursday.

“The players who played on Tuesday night had a very light one so we will be assessing that after today to see how he reacts to the training session.

“He worked really hard this morning, had a good session with the ones that didn’t play and some younger players.

“So we’re pleased with his contribution this morning and that will certainly be assessed as to whether he is available and ready enough for Saturday.”

Trollope also revealed that Town had to fend off competition to land Nakamba, who cost Villa around £11m when he was bought by former Villa manager Dean Smith from Club Brugge back in August 2019.

He went on to play 68 times in all competitions over the next three seasons, but after not featuring at all so far this term, agreed to move to the Hatters for the rest of the campaign.

“He did have a bit of interest from other parties so we’re really, really pleased with that (signing),” he said.

“It’s a level of player that we were looking for, its a position we were looking for and his attributes are really complementary to the other players that we’ve got in that position.

“We’re pleased to have him.

“He’s going to make a big impact.

“Physically, we’ll have to assess him in the short-term to make sure his game exposure is right, so that he plays a really big part for the rest of the season.

“He is obviously a good level player, Premier League experience, you can see he’s fitted straight into the group.

“He’s a really good character which I think fits in with the group very well.

“It’s pretty obvious to see his game time over the last year, 18 months, was not what he wanted to be so we’re going to have to manage him well but we’ve brought him here to add to that midfield unit.

“It’s a strong unit for us. We’ve got some really good, talented players, all with good technical, running, athletic abilities and psychological abilities.

“He’s a different type to what we’ve got which we think we need to compliment the others.

“We feel it’s a really strong unit so we’re delighted to have Marvelous. I think he’s going to add to us on and off the pitch.”