Alan Hutton has been left drooling over the performances of Aston Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba after what he says was a slow start to his career at the club.

The former Villa and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, said that the 25-year-old defensive midfielder was forced to bide his time after joining Dean Smith’s men, with a number of players vying for a role in the middle of the park.

Having missed out on the opening four matchday squads of the Premier League season, Nakamba has started the last seven top-flight outings, losing only to Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City.

Having seemingly established himself as a mainstay in Smith’s side, Hutton has been raving over the Zimbabwe international’s performances, insisting he looks more than comfortable playing among England’s elite.

Hutton told Football Insider: “He’s done brilliant. At the start he didn’t come straight in, there was obviously a few vying for that position. He had to bide his time, he’s done well, came in and grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

“He looks very comfortable. He’s got great energy, he can get about the pitch, winning tackles – he just looks very comfortable for that position. 

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“It’s a position where Villa need somebody strong there. There’s going to be games like Liverpool and all the top teams where you’re going to need a solid base and I think he really helps the centre-halves to achieve that.”

Nakamba joined the Villans from Belgian outfit Club Brugge in the summer, having also played in the Netherlands and France during his career.

As well as the summer arrival, Smith has the likes of Jack Grealish, Conor Hourihane, John McGinn, Henri Lansbury and Douglas Luiz to choose from in the middle of the pitch.

In other Aston Villa news, Hutton has dropped a training ground claim after the club’s defeat to Liverpool.