Aston Villa coach Dean Smith will turn to Marvelous Nakamba as his first option in the central midfield when the 2021/22 English Premier League season gets underway next month.

Villa will miss a couple of stars at the beginning of the campaign, including Douglas Luiz, who was the preferred anchorman for the majority of the previous season. The Brazilian will be recovering after playing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics games scheduled to start this month, and Smith will likely look at Nakamba as the first cover-up option.

The Zimbabwean featured mostly as a substitute in the last term but started in the final two games of the season, resulting in back-to-back wins over Tottenham and Chelsea. Overall, he made nine league starts in thirteen appearances.

Meanwhile, James Ward-Prowse and Will Hughes have been linked with a move to Villa Park, with Smith reportedly keen to bolster his midfield options.