According to Sky Sports, Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake is high on Manchester City’s shopping list. The Netherlands international is also wanted by his former club Chelsea, as Frank Lampard needs to shore up his defence. The Blues had inserted a £40million buy-back clause in Ake’s contract when he left for Bournemouth in 2017.
Manchester City are experiencing personnel issues in central defence and will have to dip into the January market. Having not replaced Vincent Kompany last summer, City left themselves short at the back. And when injuries hit, Pep Guardiola was forced to play a few members of his team out of position just to field a starting XI.
Fernandinho has been a mainstay at centre-back this season, despite being a midfielder by trade.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at which club would be a better fit for Ake.
During his time at Chelsea, he never got a decent run of games. Frustrated at his lack of first-team opportunities, the Dutchman left the Blues for good in the summer of 2017 after loan spells at Reading, Watford and Bournemouth.
Aké’s decision has been more than vindicated. The 24-year-old has been an ever-present in the Premier League in each of the last two seasons and is racing towards 100 top-flight appearances for the Cherries.
But now, Chelsea are interested in buying back the defender. While the Blues’ defence is slowly but surely tightening up, there are still question marks over Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma. The duo has been benched in favour of youngster Fikayo Tomori, who was Derby County‘s Player of the Year while on loan under Lampard’s watchful eye last season.
City, on the other hand, have been plagued by injuries. Laporte is suffering a long-term injury and Mendy has failed to make a mark in the league. The 24-year-old Ake fits the bill in terms of a long-term solution. Ake has shown that he is comfortable on the ball and despite not being the tallest of centre-backs, the Dutchman is good in the air.
His 10 goals in less than 100 Premier League games for Bournemouth shows that he is good in the opponents’ boxes too. Ake would be ideal for Guardiola’s set-up.
Ake might be tempted to return to Chelsea but his versatility, consistency and experience are exactly what Manchester City are lacking. He is a utility player and can also fill in at left-back which has become a major issue for Guardiola off late. Thus, City should beat Chelsea to sign him.