Nakamba charms Brugge fans

HARARE - Although he has been at Club Brugge for only six months, Zimbabwe international Marvelous Nakamba is already the darling of the club’s fans.

The former Bantu Rovers midfielder was snapped up last June by the current Belgium top flight log leaders following a successful spell with Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem.

Nakamba has quickly settled in at his new club where he has made himself a regular in the starting line up.

So far, the Zimbabwe international has started in 17 of the Brugge 23 league matches helping his side open an 11-point lead over second-placed Sporting Charleroi.

Nakamba has endeared himself to the Blauw-Zwart fans with one supporter Joere Verslyp setting up a fan page on Instagram for the Zimbabwe international.

Verslyp dedicates his time to updating followers of Nakamba’s every move on social media with his page growing everyday.

“I started the fan page because I already followed Nakamba when he played for Vitesse. I liked his style, his motivation, his defence. When he signed for Club Brugge, I was excited,” Verslyp told the Daily News on Sunday.

“And since the first talk with him I knew he wasn’t only a good football player, but also a friendly young man. That’s why I started a fan page, and why I have the Zim flag at every game possible.”

FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME: Club Brugge fan Joere Verslyp poses with Nakamba's Vitesse Arnhem shirt.

When Verslyp starts talking about Nakamba’s exploits, the Club Brugge fan’s face lights up.

“He is by far one of the most talented defensive midfielders. With him in the team, our captain Ruud Vormer can develop his offensive qualities. Together with Hans Vanaken, the midfield is unstoppable,” he says.

“His motivation and his qualities have also won us over. Brugge has a motto ‘One Club, One Family, One Passion’. And he has showed he is part of the family. Not only on the pitch, but also off the field; he’s a true gentlemen.”

When Nakamba moved from Vitesse to Brugge, his transfer fee was pegged at £4 million.

Even though we are now living in a hyper-inflated transfer market where players are now costing over £100 million, at first some of the Blauw-Zwart fans were not convinced.

They felt the club had paid too much for an unknown quantity but Nakamba soon won over the fans with his performances on the field.  

“At the beginning, many fans thought it was a little bit too much. I already knew him and his qualities, so I knew it was a bargain,” Verslyp said.

“But Nakamba showed every doubting fan he’s worth triple the amount Brugge paid for him.”

With the Europe mid-season transfer window now open, Nakamba has in the past been linked with a move to English side Liverpool.

With captain Jordan Henderson struggling with injury and Emre Can reportedly heading to Juventus next season, Jurgen Klopp is in serious need to beef up his central midfield options.

The Zimbabwean international has been touted as the possible solution to Klopp’s worries although nothing concrete has emerged.

Verslyp is convinced Nakamba can make the grade in the demanding and physical English Premier League but is urging caution against making an early move to Liverpool when he has not yet fully developed.      

“He sure is a typical player for the Premier League. His defensive qualities are the kind they like to see there. He can tackle, recover the ball; a midfield vacuum cleaner,” Verslyp said.

“I would rather see him develop at Brugge one more year before taking the big step. But if he goes in the summer, I would be the first to wish him good luck and to let him know: wherever he goes, I follow him. He’s in my Brugges Heart forever.”

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