Thursday, September 28, 2023

Manchester City Signs This Dutch Defensive Ace For £40m: What Will He Bring To The Etihad Stadium?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

Manchester City have confirmed the signing of Bournemouth centre-back Nathan Ake. The fee is expected to be in the region of £40m. The player has signed a five-year contract and becomes City’s second signing of this summer transfer window.

Ake’s Impressive Form At Bournemouth Last Season

Ake had experienced another solid season at the Vitality Stadium despite suffering relegation on the last day of the Premier League campaign. He made 30 appearances for Eddie Howe’s side last season, registering two goals and two assists in all competitions showcasing his knack for getting involved in the attacking third.

More importantly, the Dutch centre-half has been a real asset for Bournemouth defensively after averaging 1.1 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 5.1 clearances per game in the English top tier. He has also been excellent with his ball-distribution based on his pass success rate of 87.6% in league football in the previous campaign (stats via whoscored).

The 25-year-old has earned 11 senior caps for the Netherlands national team, scoring one goal for his nation in the process. He can benefit from joining the League Cup champions as he will only get better and better under the world-class stewardship of Pep Guardiola.

Nathan Ake agrees personal terms with Manchester City (Ake is staring in the picture)
Nathan Ake of AFC Bournemouth arrives at the stadium prior to the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and AFC Bournemouth at Selhurst Park on May 12, 2019, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

What Will The Dutch Defensive Ace Bring To The Etihad Stadium?

Ake can use his quickness to make some lung-bursting recovering runs at the back and can also overpower the opposition in the air by utilising his incredible upper-body strength inside his half. He can sense the danger quickly that allows him to pull off a few crucial interceptions and last-ditch clearances for his side. The Dutch defender is not afraid to put his body on the line to block a goal-bound shot from the opposition and is usually a composed presence on the ball as well which makes him an ideal fit for Pep Guardiola’s side.

A centre-back of Ake’s athletic ability and defensive prowess could turn out to be a shrewd signing for the 2018-19 Premier League champions. He will not only add more stability and variety to Man City’s defence but also enhance the overall depth of their match-day squad. Plus, he will be a significant upgrade over John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi. Ake will even provide some serious competition for Eric Garcia and Aymeric Laporte in the race to secure a regular starting berth at the Etihad Stadium next season.

At 25, the Netherlands international is currently playing at his prime and has what it takes to make an instant impact at the north-west of England. With all things considered, he is a decent acquisition for Guardiola before the start of the new campaign.

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