Marvelous Nakamba featured in Aston Villa’s first pre-season friendly against Walsall on Wednesday.

The Zimbabwean midfielder was included in the first XI and played the first forty-five minutes of the 4-0 victory before making way for the second selection.

He is likely to be coach Dean Smith’s preferred anchorman in the opening games of the coming season as Douglas Luiz will not be available. The Brazilian will be recovering after playing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics games scheduled to start this month.

Nakamba 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.

Elsewhere, Marshall Munetsi was also in action on Wednesday. The Warriors midfielder featured for the entire ninety minutes as his side won 2-0 versus Champly in their second friendly match of the pre-season.