Warriors star Marvelous Nakamba made his first Aston Villa appearance of the season when the claret and blue lost 1-3 to Cardiff City in a friendly match played in South Wales yesterday.
The 28-year old former Club Brugge man has struggled for game time this season, fuelling speculation that he might be shown the exit door during the January transfer window.
With the FIFA World Cup in full swing in Qatar, Villa boss Unai Emery gave a chance to some of the fringe players in the squad to impress him in the friendly, which was played in front 10 027 supporters.
Ollie Tanner put the hosts in front in the first half before Kion Etete scored twice, while Jacob Ramsey scored Villa’s consolation goal in the 58th minute.
Nakamba started in midfield alongside Boubacar Kamara, before he (Nakamba) was replaced in the 67th minute by 16-year old academy product Kadan Young.
“In for his first appearance since pre-season and did OK but was caught in possession on one occasion as Nakamba, like most, looked a little rusty,” wrote club correspent Ashley Preece for the Birmingham Mail in his player ratings.