Bournemouth have completed the signing of Nathan Ake from Chelsea for a club-record fee of £20m. The 22-year-old became the third signing for Eddie Howe’s side. The Cherries have earlier secured the services of Asmir Begovic from Chelsea and Jermain Defoe from Sunderland.
Ake spent the first half of the last season on loan at the Vitality Stadium and has earned accolades with some eye-catching performances in the Cherries backline. One of his notable performances was against Liverpool when he helped the team stage a stunning fightback against the Reds as he went on to score the winner for the Cherries in the added time.
The 22-year-old had some initial struggle to acclimatise himself in the side but once he got selected in the starting lineup, he didn’t have to look back since then. Ake featured in 10 games in the Premier League and netted three goals for them which describe his productivity. Antonio Conte recalled him to Chelsea back in January as the Italian gaffer wanted to have adequate cover for the defence.
However, Ake’s move to Chelsea hadn’t shaped the way everyone would have imagined rather it turned to be a bit awkward for the youngster who saw the exciting campaign suddenly come to a standstill on the Chelsea bench. Bournemouth did make a last-gasp attempt to sign the defender but Chelsea’s reluctance foiled the move.
The defender is another example of Chelsea’s vastly criticised youth policy. The West London club have the knack to send youth players on loan at different clubs without much of a pathway for them and the same thing happened with Ake. Chelsea bought him from Feyenoord as a 16-year-old but was unable to provide him with solid game time.
Ake had been at various clubs before but found his groove at Bournemouth and it was his form for the Cherries that made Conte call him back to the Stamford Bridge. Ake was hugely admired at the Stamford Bridge for his excellent attitude and work rate his but inadequate time on the field compelled them to sell one of their most prized assets.
Ake is the second arrival from Chelsea to the Cherries after Asmir Begovic. The keeper switched his allegiance from the Blues last month. Ake’s move shows the ambition of Eddie Howe who has been one of the standout managers of the Premier League.
Bournemouth have beaten a number of clubs to take the player under their fold and it is going to be an interesting season for Howe and his boys.