STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 19: Nathan Ake of AFC Bournemouth (L) celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Stoke City and AFC Bournemouth at Bet365 Stadium on November 19, 2016 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

According to L’Equipe, Manchester City are linked with a transfer for Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake as they aim to bolster their defensive department this summer. The ex-Chelsea starlet has been identified as the ideal target for Pep Guardiola, and it is believed that the Sky Blues could secure his services for a fee of €44.6 million, despite interest from Tottenham Hotspur.

Nathan Ake’s impressive spell at Bournemouth

Ake moved to Bournemouth for a fee of €22.8 million in the summer of 2017, after initially impressing on loan the season before. And the Dutchman has since become a vital part of the Bournemouth defence that has played a crucial role in retaining the club’s top-flight status for the past few seasons.

During his three year spell at the club, Ake has made 91 appearances for Bournemouth across all competitions, during which he has been involved in an impressive 13 goals. He was an ever-present figure in the backline last season, making 38 Premier League appearances and his defensive combination with Steve Cook was critical behind the Cherries’ 14th placed finish in the league.

What can Ake bring to the table?

Ake’s style of play can be compared to that of David Luiz. A strong tackler and an aggressive operator in defence, the Dutchman is a diligent defender. He loves to thread short passes and has averaged a pass completion rate of 86%. He is also quite strong in the air, despite boasting a relatively shorter frame of 1.80m.

The Bournemouth star won 2.3 aerial battles per game last season. And this aerial prowess not only gives him a considerable advantage when defending crosses but also makes him a threat from set-pieces, with the 24-year-old scoring four goals last season.

Should Man City make a move for Ake?

Manchester City have recently reinforced their backline by re-signing Angelino from PSV Eindhoven. But, the centre-back department remains an issue, especially with the departure of Vincent Kompany. That means the Citizens only have three viable defensive options in Aymeric Laporte, Nicolas Otamendi and John Stones, thus accentuating the need for a new centre-back this summer.

Ake, in that regard, could be an excellent option and a potential long-term replacement for Kompany. The Dutchman’s doggedness at the back should compliment the much more technically gifted figure of Laporte, thereby adding another dimension to the Man City backline.

Besides, a reported fee of €44.8 million makes him a cost-effective option when compared to other available options in the market. And that could be useful for Manchester City, who have recently triggered the €70 million release clause for Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri.

Stat courtesy: Whoscored

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Anas Molla

An ageing teenager who apparently still likes Twenty One Pilots and HIMYM. Also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian mythology and history. Still waiting for my man Milos Raonic to win a Grand Slam.

An ageing teenager who apparently still likes Twenty One Pilots and HIMYM. Also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian mythology and history. Still waiting for my man Milos Raonic to win a Grand Slam.