Despite making a blistering start, Chelsea have fallen behind in the Premier League title race. But the influence of Maurizio Sarri has introduced an exciting brand of football and the gaffer, aiming to reclaim the league glory, must be expecting reinforcements to execute his ‘Sarriball’.
As per reports from The Sun, Chelsea are keen on bringing back Nathan Ake at the Stamford Bridge from AFC Bournemouth triggering a £40m buy-back option. The Cherries wrapped up the Dutchman for a then club-record fee of £20m last season after an impressive loan stint at the South Coast.
Ake, 23, has represented his nation in several youth ranks since 2009 and is now a regular with the senior side having made ten appearances already. He was already a rising star when he joined the Blues academy from Feyenoord back in 2011 at the age of 16. But the lack of senior minutes saw him making temporary moves to Reading, Watford and Bournemouth before being tied down by Eddie Howe on a permanent basis.
The Netherlands international showcased his versatility as well as his defensive abilities to become a future sensation. Yet the Blues were forced to part ways with him given the options they already had in the central defensive line. Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, Garry Cahill, David Luiz and Andreas Christensen were more suited in Antonio Conte’s ‘three-man backline’ and the former Chelsea gaffer sanctioned a move for the youngster who only made 17 senior appearances altogether.
Ake, meanwhile, proved to be an instant success as he appeared in every league outing last season featuring in the heart of the Bournemouth backline. The player is also capable of playing as a fullback, and even in a defensive midfield role. His style of play resembles the former Dutch legend Rudd Gullit – mostly due to the calmness on the ball as well as the ability to carry it out under immense pressure.
With Garry Cahill and David Luiz’s contract set to expire at the end of the ongoing campaign, Chelsea needs to bring in alternatives who would fit in Sarri’s brand of football. Ake is indeed an option who has excelled exquisitely under young Howe, one of the most exciting managers of English football.
A summer switch, however, is more likely for the Dutch defensive ace as the Blues are well equipped at the back until the conclusion of the ongoing term. But a move for Ake must be appreciated as the youngster, now an established name in Premier League, would slot into Chelsea’s deep defence for years to come.