'Wow' - Exclusive: Whelan drools over Aston Villa man 'Miles off the pace' a few weeks ago

Marvelous Nakamba is developing into a top-place Premier League player for Aston Villa, according to Noel Whelan.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Leeds United and Coventry City striker explained how he is becoming a big admirer of the central midfielder.

Nakamba, 25, joined Villa for around £11million in the summer from Belgian outfit Club Brugge.

He failed to make the matchday squad for the first four league games of the campaign but has subsequently started all seven fixtures in the competition.

Whelan was impressed by Nakamba’s wholehearted performance in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Liverpool, played in a raucous atmosphere at Villa Park.

“Wow, his energy and industry was something else,” Whelan told Football Insider. “He’s forming a really impressive midfield partnership with John McGinn.

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“Most of the new signings looked all over the place at the start of the season. Now, we can see the work Dean Smith and John Terry are doing on the training ground.

“Nakamba is one of those who is really bedding into the team. He was miles off the pace just a few weeks ago. Now, he looks a big talent in midfield.”

Nakamba signed a five-year contract when he joined Villa in the summer after two years in Belgium.

He is a 12-times Zimbabwe international who moved to France in his teens and has also played for Nancy and Vitesse Arnhem in Holland.

In other Aston Villa news, Paul Robinson has been gushing to Football Insider over a Villa star who “eyebrows were raised over”.