Nathan Ake speaks out on club future as Newcastle United speculation intensifies
Nathan Ake has been increasingly linked with Newcastle United.
The 27 year old was bought by Eddie Howe from Chelsea for £20m in June 2017 and was a key player for Bournemouth, starting 104 Premier League games in the three seasons under Howe and only twice named on the bench.
The improvement / development under the then Bournemouth manager then led to a big move to Manchester City.
After the unlucky last day relegation in July 2020, Eddie Howe resigned on 1 August, with three days later Nathan Ake moving to the Etihad for £40m.
Now there is speculation intensifying about the player reuniting with Newcastle United, claims that Man City have set a £50m price tag, a £10m increase on what they paid two years ago.
Despite Manchester City winning the Premier League in both of his seasons there, Nathan Ake has seen little benefit on the international front.
His lack of game time in club football most definitely impacting on his hopes with Holland.
Hoping to force his way into the Netherlands first team by the time the Qatar World Cup comes around in five months time, Nathan Ake desperately needs first team football at club level.
So is he looking to stay at Manchester City, or is a move to Newcastle United, or elsewhere on the defender’s agenda?
Nathan Ake got a rare start for Holland on Friday, showing his versatility by playing left-back in the stunning 4-1 away win over Belgium. However, this was only Ake’s eleventh start for Holland and only his second since October 2020.
Holland play away against Wales on Wednesday, Nathan Ake speaking to NOS from his international camp and asked about his club future, whether he still believed in and was targeting a regular first team place at Manchester City, or would be looking to move elsewhere:
“I will go into the season with that intention (to be first choice at Manchester City). I will do everything I can to play even more.
“Last season (2020/21) was very unhappy due to injuries.
“I don’t really count that year.
“This season (2021/22) I was really 100 per cent present and I played more.
“You notice an improvement in yourself, how you play.
“I felt good.”
Whatever the reality of the situation, it was predictable what Nathan Ake had to say.
With Ruben Dias, John Stones and Aymeric Laporte all ahead of him in the central defensive pecking order last season, Nathan Ake will surely be looking for some reassurance from Pep Guardiola…or else moving to another club must be on the agenda.
Unless injuries intervene, difficult to see how / why anything would change though in Guardiola’s thinking.
Along with Liverpool, Man City had by far the best defensive record last season with the two clubs only conceding 26 PL goals each, next best Chelsea with 33 and Spurs then 40. With Man City having already bought in Haaland, it would be no surprise as well if Guardiola was seeing Nathan Ake as an asset he could sell and use the cash to help strengthen elsewhere.
Nathan Ake is talking about how he felt last season was a lot more positive than 2020/21 and it was from a fitness perspective. However, he was named on the bench 26 times in the Premier League and only started 10 PL matches. Ironically, Ake was only available for 17 PL matches in 2020/21 but started the majority of them, Guardiola starting him nine times, including the 4-3 and 2-0 wins over Newcastle United.
Competing in so many competitions means that Guardiola could also give Nathan Ake eight other starts in the domestic cups and Champions League last (2021/22) season BUT now aged 27, it is certainly looking time for the defender to make a move and guarantee regular first team football. Or else he looks to have no chance of forcing his way into the Holland team as a regular starter and will continue to watch on the vast majority of times from the bench in club football, if staying at Man City.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]