According to the Telegraph, Chelsea are looking to re-sign Nathan Ake from Bournemouth during the January transfer window after they had their transfer ban halved. However, much depends on the fitness and form of Antonio Rudiger – who has faced a lengthy spell out.
Nathan Ake, 24, joined Bournemouth back in 2017 in a £20m deal but a buy-back clause worth £40m was installed in the deal. He has been a top player for the Cherries over the last two seasons, establishing himself as one of the most solid defenders in the Premier League.
Having seen the Dutchman flourish as a mature and effective defender during his time at the Vitality Stadium, Chelsea are keen to bring him back to the club as Frank Lampard attempts to cement his team’s place in the top four and progress in the Champions League.
Chelsea have looked a bit shaky at the back this season. Antonio Rudiger’s continued absence due to injury has made a massive difference. Rudiger, who joined Chelsea from AS Roma back in the summer of 2017, has established himself as a key figure at the back for the Blues over the last couple of seasons.
But since undergoing knee surgery at the back end of the previous campaign, persistent injury problems have hampered the Germany international game time.
In addition to Rudiger’s injury problems, the likes of Andreas Christensen and Kurt Zouma haven’t delivered the goods this season. The duo, alongside goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, were abject in their performances in the Blues’ 3-1 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday.
The Toffees, under interim manager Duncan Ferguson, exposed the weaknesses in Chelsea’s defence and got a fantastic result at home.
Thus, it makes absolute sense for Lampard to buy a central defender in January and Nathan Ake ticks a lot of boxes. Ake is a left-footed central defender but equally adept playing at left-back and in a holding midfield role. He also qualifies as a home-grown player and would be eligible to play for the Blues in Europe.
At the age of just 24, the Netherlands international has made 133 appearances in the Premier League alone. So far this season, Ake has registered an average of 1.2 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 4.4 clearances and 0.7 blocks. He has also enjoyed an 87.5 % pass success rate, with one assist and an average of 0.3 key passes in the league so far. [Courtesy: WhoScored.com]
Considering Chelsea are putting a lot of thought into developing young players, Ake could be a brilliant long-term investment. The Dutchman could be that leader at the back Lampard has lacked this season.
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