Aston Villa manager Dean Smith did pick out Marvelous Nakamba as one positive from his team’s crushing 4-0 away defeat to Leicester City on Monday night.
Villa missed the chance to climb out of the relegation zone in the Premier League table, as they were heavily beaten at the King Power Stadium by their Midlands rivals.
Harvey Barnes (two) and substitute Jamie Vardy (two) ran riot with their goals for hosts Leicester, who strengthened their third-placed spot in the top-flight table.
Meanwhile, Villa were unable to back up their encouraging display in the Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City from the previous weekend and are sat 19th in the league table.
Smith did mention midfielder Nakamba as one exception to his side’s poor efforts against Leicester.
“One of our biggest disappointments today was that we gave away the ball too often, probably with the exception of Marvelous [Nakamba] who I thought was our best player on the night,” Smith said, as quoted by Sky Sports’ Main Event channel (10:20pm, 9 March).
Nakamba did his best for Villa on Monday, but it was extremely tough in the centre of the park for him and his teammates.
The 26-year-old put himself about with plenty of energy and aggression, but the Leicester team played around them for large spells of the contest and used their width effectively.
He is a defensive midfielder that is suited to English football with his athleticism and did his best in difficult circumstances in his latest outing.
Villa are going to need plenty of grit to dig themselves out of relegation trouble and Nakamba is certainly one individual that should keep his starting spot moving forward now that he’s looking far more consistent.