Why Manchester City signing Nathan Ake could solve their defensive woes
According to Sky Sports, Manchester City are interested in a January deal for Bournemouth centre-back Nathan Ake.
Earlier, City boss declared he would not be signing any players in the winter window despite being 11 points behind runaway league leaders Liverpool. But now it appears that the English outfit are in desperate need of a defender.
Ake came through the ranks of Chelsea’s youth system but had been out of the club on different loan spells. While he was on loan with Bournemouth, Ake established himself as a left-sided centre-back and then made a permanent move to the South Coast in 2017.
He has racked up 107 appearances for the Cherries so far and has developed under Eddie Howe. Though Bournemouth are in a lowly 15th position in the league, Ake has been by far their outstanding player and has helped the team with 3 clean sheets this term.
His impressive performances also earned him praises from former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. There is no doubt that he is a fantastic player and could go on to become an important member of any team he may move to.
Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola’s side seem to be fragile at the back and they have also blown up their chances of winning the Premier League after a horrendous first-half performance against Manchester United last weekend.
United’s front three ran riot against Fernandinho and co. at the back, with Kyle Walker being the only exception. City have been punished this season already for not signing a replacement for Vincent Kompany, who departed in the summer.
Long-term injury to Aymeric Laporte has been the Etihad outfit in a bad position, while John Stones has already missed several games due to injuries. And now Fernandinho, a defensive midfielder, is heading their defensive duties from central defence.
If City are to chase the title again, they need to stop conceding a lot and this would be possible only if they sign a natural centre-back, who can handle things during the toughest phases of the league season.
In that case, Nathan Ake would be the perfect choice to strengthen their defence. This season, he has made 11 blocks and 23 interceptions in the league, which is better when compared to Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk (8 interceptions, 16 interceptions).
The 24-year-old has also won 14 of the 19 tackles he has attempted and looks to be strong in making challenges. [Courtesy: Premier League]
In Manchester City, Ake can partner alongside John Stones or Nicolas Otamendi, which would allow Fernandinho to play in his natural position. If these changes are made, City can benefit from using Fernandinho in the midfield and they can return to their usual best form.
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Considering Ake’s situation with Chelsea, who have inserted a £40m buy-back clause in his deal, it is clear that Pep Guardiola cannot acquire his services without battling with the Netherland international’s former club.
However, to shore up their defence, Manchester City must sign him at any cost. His Performances would be perfect for City to make amends in the second half of the season.