Zimbabwe international Marvelous Nakamba moved to Luton Town on loan from Aston Villa in the winter, and the 29-year-old has made a real impact at Kenilworth Road. Can Nakamba help fire the Hatters to the Premier League?
Luton in the Promotion Picture
Luton had a fine EFL Championship season under Nathan Jones last term, and the Hatters have built on that success this year. Despite the popular Jones leaving for Southampton in November, Town has kicked on under new boss Rob Edwards. Luton is in the mix: on the Bwin sports betting page, they have odds of +250 to win promotion to the top flight this season.
Luton has had a meteoric rise from the lower divisions of English soccer to the cusp of the promised land. Less than a decade ago, Luton was playing soccer in the National League, which is classed as non-league on the English pyramid. They had back-to-back promotions and have spent three successful seasons in the second tier.
Luton caught the eye in the 2020-21 campaign and went on to finish sixth and secure a playoff spot the following year. Despite coming up short in the playoffs and subsequently losing their manager, Luton have kicked on under new boss Edwards, as the former Watford head coach has is seemingly taking the club to the next level.
Marvelous Nakamba stats vs Watford🦁
27 accurate passes😍
2 chances created👌
What a performance from @Nakamba_11 🧡 pic.twitter.com/BKbUYE9Kzd
— Zac Neal (@NonLeagueZac) April 2, 2023
Nakamba a Smart Deal for All Parties
With promotion on their mind, Luton bolstered the squad in the winter transfer market. They persuaded Nakamba to sign on loan until the end of the 2022-23 season, and the deal was a good one for all parties.
Since arriving in England from Club Brugge in 2019, Nakamba has gone on to play over 50 times in the Premier League for the Villans. He has had several memorable moments in a Villa shirt, though he yet has to score for the Midlands outfit.
Nakamba did not feature for Aston Villa in the first half of the season, with his last appearance for the club coming on the final day of the 2021-22 campaign, as Villa lost 3-2 to Manchester City in one of the Premier League’s most dramatic games of all time.
Luton was looking for experience in the transfer market, and Nakamba certainly fitted the bill, having made almost 40 Premier League starts since moving to Villa Park. The midfielder has also been a regular for his national side since making his international debut back in 2015.
The Zimbabwean has been a real hit with the Luton supporters since making the switch. Nakamba has struck up a solid partnership with Pelly Ruddock in the heart of Luton’s midfield and has been in great form.
Happy for the win at home in front of our fans. Thank you @CarltonJM @PellyMpanzu for the goals 🧡 pic.twitter.com/0drxWjyhYl
— Marvelous Nakamba (@Nakamba_11) April 10, 2023
Before the March international break, Nakamba had already racked up ten appearances for the Hatters, with Town winning five, drawing four and losing just one match. He made his debut in a 1-0 win over Stoke City in early February.
These are historic times for Luton, as the club has shot up the divisions and is now a genuine promotion candidate. Nakamba will be hoping to keep up his fine form and help Town secure an incredible promotion to the Premier League.