Manchester City have been dealt an injury blow to defender Nathan Ake following the club’s recent 3-3 draw against Newcastle United in the Premier League.
21 minutes into the game at St. James’ Park, the Dutchman was forced off the pitch with what Pep Guardiola has now claimed is a groin issue.
The City boss then confirmed after the clash that the defender will not be involved in Wednesday’s friendly match against Barcelona.
City signed the centre-back from AFC Bournemouth during the 2020 summer transfer window in a deal worth £40m.
Since then, the defender has gone on to make 44 appearances for the Manchester club across all competitions, chipping in with four goals along the way and getting his hands on two Premier League titles.
Ake is one of the eight outfield players to have started all three of City’s league games so far this season, which goes to show just how important and highly rated he is by Guardiola, who will surely be disappointed that the centre-back has picked up this injury.
To highlight how impressive the 27-year-old has been for the Citizens this season, only Dias (96.2%) has a higher percentage for passes completed than Ake (95.9%) out of players to attempt more that 150 passes.
The Netherlands international also has the joint-highest number of blocks (4) and the second-highest number of clearances (6) in City’s squad, showing how useful he is in a defensive sense as well as being very comfortable on the ball.
In fact, City haven’t conceded a goal while Ake has been on the pitch for them this season, as Newcastle’s three goals on Sunday all came after he went off injured, perhaps a sign of his growing importance to the Citizens.
This shows exactly why he would be a big miss for them if he ends up being out of action for a significant period of time.
The league champions already have Aymeric Laporte out injured, so the possibility of having the former Cherries defender out as well will surely be a worry for everyone at the club.
With involvement in midweek’s match against Barcelona out of the question, Guardiola and the City fans will be hoping that the centre-back will be fit enough to feature in this weekend’s next Premier League clash against Crystal Palace, who have already picked up a point aginst the club’s title rivals, Liverpool