According to the latest odds released by the United Kingdom bookmakers Paddy Power (via Manchester Evening News), Manchester City are currently leading the chase to secure the services of AFC Bournemouth centre-half Nathan Ake during the January transfer window. Paddy Power has priced the Citizens as 3/1 favourites to bring the Dutch defensive ace to the Etihad Stadium this winter.
Man City’s Defensive Struggles This Season
Pep Guardiola has seen his side struggle defensively following the injury to Aymeric Laporte earlier this season. John Stones has often been out of action as well, which hasn’t helped Man City’s cause. The defensive duo of Nicolas Otamendi and Fernandinho has looked vulnerable at the back which explains why Man City have dropped points in recent matches.
The lack of defensive options has seen the Citizens fall eight points behind Liverpool at the top of the Premier League standings. The English champions have recently lost against Norwich City and Wolverhampton Wanderers with both those sides exploiting Man City’s weaknesses at the back.
Ake’s Outstanding Spell At Bournemouth
Ake has been a brilliant signing for the Cherries as evidenced by his performances for them over the past couple of seasons. Since joining from Chelsea in the summer of 2017, the Dutch centre-back has gradually improved his game under Eddie Howe’s tutelage at the Vitality Stadium.
The 24-year-old has played in 99 matches for Bournemouth so far, netting ten goals while providing five assists in all competitions. More importantly, he has been a rock at the back for the Cherries this season after he made an average of 1.4 tackles, 2.0 interceptions and 4.4 clearances per game in the Premier League (stats via whoscored).
Ake has decent pace in his locker, which helps him to recover when left isolated in a 1v1 foot race with the opposition. He is also physically dominant and tends to win most of his aerial duels during a match. What makes the Bournemouth rising star such an exceptional talent is his ability to make successful tackles to win possession back for his team.
Is Ake The Right Choice For The Mancunian Giants?
The Dutch defender is precisely the type of signing that could help Guardiola get his players back on track. Ake is a quality defender who will undoubtedly fill the void left by Laporte’s latest injury setback. Furthermore, he has what it takes to form a mutually beneficial partnership with Laporte at the heart of the Man City defence.
We think that the Den Haag-born centre-back will be an excellent choice for Guardiola if he wants a strong first-team that is capable of competing for multiple trophies this season.
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