Everton need to find a way past Nathan Ake

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This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more… 

Everton face a difficult trip to Bournemouth on Sunday and if they are to get anything from the match they will need their forwards to get the better of Nathan Ake.

Everton stuttered at first this season with a draw against Palace and a defeat to Villa, but have found some goalscoring form in their last two matches – Richarlison bagging three in wins over Lincoln City in the Carabao Cup and Wolves in the Premier League.

The Brazilian could fancy his chances this weekend too, as Bournemouth’s defence has a habit of losing concentration, conceding eight goals already this season.

One defender who has stood out, though, is Ake, a player whom the Toffees had their eye on in summer. The move didn’t materialise due to his club’s £75m asking price, but his all-round play suggests he could have been a good signing for the Toffees.

He is accomplished in dealing with different types of threats as the above statistics show and should, therefore, make life difficult for Everton’s attackers, whomever they choose to field.

Should he come up against the pace of Moise Kean and Richarlison, he should be able to handle the task given his pace and anticipation, as highlighted by his average of 3.5 interceptions and 1.5 tackles per game.

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He is adept in both boxes, too, and could be key from set-pieces. Ake managed four goals for his side in the Premier League last season, and his average of 3.3 clearances per game underlines his positioning and ability to get rid of danger. If he can win a few more aerial duels than this season’s average on Sunday, then he’ll be a real challenge for the Toffees to get past.

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