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Aston Villa: Nathan Ake can be Gerrard’s own Ruben Dias

Aston Villa have been credited with an interest in Manchester City defender Nathan Ake this summer and the Netherlands international could be Steven Gerrard’s own version of Ruben Dias should he make the move to Villa Park.

Reports have suggested that Villa were keen to sign the former Bournemouth man, who has struggled to nail down a starting spot in Pep Guardiola’s side since his move to the Etihad in 2020.

The centre-back has made just 40 appearances across his two seasons for the Citizens, with John Stones, Aymeric Laporte and Dias all regularly preferred to the Dutchman in the heart of City’s defence.

However, he is still highly valued by Guardiola, and it would undoubtedly take a big bid from Villa to prise him away from the Etihad, given that City paid £40m to sign the defender just two years ago.

The Spanish manager was full of praise for Ake last season, saying:

“He is so reliable. Especially when you behave in your life like he does, always you will play good.

“In the bad phases, he is always helping. When he doesn’t get the minutes he deserves and then gets the minutes, he’s thinking about the other ones and has done well. He is an exceptional person.”

Could Ake be Villa's own Ruben Dias?

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Although Gerrard has a plethora of options at centre-back following the addition of Diego Carlos from Sevilla earlier this summer, Ake could be a superb option as the left-sided centre-back.

FBref ranks the Manchester City man extremely highly in terms of pass completion rate, aerials won and progressive carries, which emphasises his ability on the ball and makes him stand out as a top modern centre-back.

The website also suggests that Dias is the sixth-most similar player to Ake in terms of play style, and given the Portuguese defender’s huge success since joining the Citizens, this is no small compliment.

WhoScored suggests that both Ake and Dias‘ main strength is passing, while the Dutchman is also highly regarded for his ability to keep the ball and win aerial duels, so the similarities between the two are clear, and Gerrard would do extremely well to bring Ake to Villa Park this summer.

And, in other news… Gerrard could land his own Kante as Villa plot swoop for “aggressive” £20m machine

Article title: Aston Villa: Nathan Ake can be Gerrard’s own Ruben Dias

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