Nathan Ake showed last night why he’s exactly what Maurizio Sarri and Chelsea are looking for
Maurizio Sarri’s search for his ideal centre-back pairing is still in full flow.
Although David Luiz played a blinder against Liverpool at the weekend, a mistake from him feels just around the corner.
Antonio Rudiger has had an excellent start to the season, and looks like a favourite of Sarri’s.
But last night, Chelsea’s former academy player, Nathan Ake, showed just why he should be considered as Rudiger’s partner.
Ake never really got a chance in the first team at Chelsea, playing just seven times in five years.
Instead, he went on loan to Reading, Watford and Bournemouth – who eventually signed him permanently in 2017.
Since joining the Cherries, Ake has displayed poise and calmness with the ball, and defensive solidity without it.
And under Eddie Howe, he’s now a regular member of the Dutch National squad.
Ake put in a man of the match performance last night as Bournemouth beat Crystal Palace.
Sarri is searching for defenders with the magic combination of skill with and without the ball, and he should seriously consider the Dutchman.
Instead of signing a player from a foreign league, Ake has bags of Premier League experience, and could slot right in.
And when Chelsea sold Ake, they inserted a buy-back clause into his contract so the option of re-signing him is still there.
Sarri’s team will become more defensively sound as time progresses, but bringing back Ake could speed up that process.