Why Manchester City should make a move for Nathan Ake in January
According to a report from the Express, Manchester City may sign a new defender in the January transfer window if Aymeric Laporte is ruled out for the rest of the season.
City are yet to discover the full extent of the injury Aymeric Laporte sustained in Saturday’s 4-0 win against Brighton.
The French defender suffered an apparent knee injury and was stretchered off the pitch. He is expected to be out for quite some time now and Pep Guardiola is worried the defender could miss the remainder of the 2019/20 campaign.
Skipper Vincent Kompany left the club this summer and was not replaced. That left Guardiola with Laporte, Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones as City’s only recognised centre-backs.
Stones could return after a two-game absence for the trip to Norwich City on 14 September, but with Champions League campaign starting after that, as well as the Carabao Cup to follow this month, Guardiola will need to take a dip in January transfer market for a new centre-back.
For time being, Fernandinho could continue in a defensive role following his appearance as a substitute on Saturday, or Kyle Walker switch to a central role from the right-back. But that doesn’t change the fact that City needs a new centre-back.
According to a report from the Sun, City were interested in a summer swoop for Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake to replace Kompany. A move didn’t materialise then but Guardiola should revive his interest in the Dutch defender and spend big on him in January.
Nathan Ake, 24, has enjoyed two solid seasons at Bournemouth after turning his loan from Chelsea into a permanent deal. He has improved significantly under Eddie Howe, emerging as one of the better ball-playing centre-backs in the league.
The Dutchman is known for his ability on the ball, never afraid to come out of his line and pick out midfielders and wingers with his incisive passes. He is strong in the tackle and a tough opponent in the air, making him an indirect threat from set-pieces. Ake has a decent turn of pace and he seems to have a mature head over his shoulder.
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Due to him being left-footed, he could also provide balance to City’s defence, with either Stones or Otamendi on the right.
Ake’s previous experience of playing for Chelsea would no doubt stand him in good stead when it comes to embracing the level of expectation at Manchester City.
The Netherlands international has matured into a reliable defender and has the qualities required to play for the English champions.