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Aston Villa handed ideal chance to sign Nathan Ake

Aston Villa are reportedly interested in a move for Manchester City defender Nathan Ake, with the Dutchman seemingly free to leave the Etihad this summer.

What’s the word?

According to 90min, the Midlands side have been named as one of the clubs who are interested in the 27-year-old, with City said to be open to a departure if the ‘right offer arrives’.

Should Villa sign Ake?

Not for me!

Not for me!

Yes, absolutely!

Yes, absolutely!

The report suggests that while Pep Guardiola is a ‘fan’ of the Netherlands international – who he signed from Bournemouth on a £41m deal two years ago – the serial-winning coach is willing to cash in on the former Chelsea man, amid significant interest from across the Premier League.

The report goes on to add that some of the interested parties are keen on a loan deal, although it is not yet clear if the champions would sanction a temporary exit for the 27-cap gem.

Bye-Bye Mings

Villa boss Steven Gerrard could seemingly have a new centre-back pairing on his hands if the £22.5m-rated ace is signed this summer, having already added Sevilla’s Diego Carlos to their ranks earlier this month.

That potentially formidable duo could hasten a departure for current club captain, Tyrone Mings, with the Englishman having come under fire last term for his underwhelming form, leading to reports that he could be set for the axe before the start of next term.

Pundit Danny Mills was particularly scathing of the 29-year-old, insisting that there is a “mistake in his game somewhere” and that the Villans are in need of an upgrade if they are to go to that “next level”.

While the £67-per-week brute compares favourably to those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues for his attacking input, ranking in the top 3% for assists and the top 4% for touches in the attacking penalty area, the defensive side of his game has been lacking, notably ranking in just the top 46% for aerial duels won.

Ake, by contrast, ranks in the top 13% for the same defensive metric, while he also appears much more comfortable in possession, ranking in the top 4% for progressive carries and the top 7% for pass completion, showcasing his willingness to bring the ball out from the back.

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While the 5 foot 11 man did only make 14 league appearances last term, his form perhaps warranted a more prominent role in Guardiola’s side, with it only the sheer strength of competition in City’s defensive ranks that inhibited his game time.

As international colleague Virgil van Dijk previously stated, the one-time Cherries ace is a truly “underrated” asset, with Gerrard and co set to be able to secure something of a hidden gem if they are able to get a deal over the line.

The club are known to be in for a left-sided defender, with Ake offering invaluable versatility and flexibility due to his ability to play at left-back as well as in the centre of defence, negating the need to buy new additions for both roles.

His reliability in both positions could also ensure Mings becomes something of a spare part, with the England international potentially in need of a change of scenery.

AND in other news, Lange eyeing Villa move for £30m “goalscoring machine”, he’d be their own Darwin Nunez

Article title: Aston Villa handed ideal chance to sign Nathan Ake

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