According to recent reports from The Sun, Tottenham Hotspur are eyeing a swoop for Bournemouth’s star in the making, Nathan Ake. This 5 ft 11 centre-back has been making huge strides since initially leaving Chelsea on loan and now looks ready to challenge himself at top six level once again.
But even so, he is still quite an attractive prospect to consider. All of this makes even more sense when the future of Toby Alderweireld is still up in the air, as per the Sun’s claims. With all of that in mind, here are two main reasons why Ake should be Spurs’ priority replacement for the Belgian if he leaves this summer.
Alderweireld’s contract expires next summer and at 30 years of age, Spurs would have to look into finding a replacement for him sooner or later. Ake’s age is certainly an appealing factor in this reported deal but comparing the two players gives us a better understanding as to why it would actually make a lot of sense as both have very similar strengths.
Although he has predominantly played in central defence for Spurs, Alderweireld is a well-rounded player who has featured as a full-back and a midfielder throughout his career in typical Ajax style. Ake is a similar breed in the sense that he has played at centre-back, left-back and in midfield throughout his Premier League career.
That’s not to suggest Tottenham should be looking to use Ake in different capacities – moving to Bournemouth has allowed him to focus on perfecting the role of a centre-half – but it does show what he can bring to the position for Spurs. Like Alderweireld, he’s adaptable and comfortable on the ball, capable of pushing up into midfield and almost tailor-made to be one of the outside defenders in a back three.
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This one is more in the Daniel Levy region. The Sun claim the sum could reach around £40m, but factor in the crazy demands of modern-day football and it’s fairly reasonable for a talent of Ake’s potential. Not to mention that it’s also fairly reasonable to suspect Ake would indeed be on lesser wages than his Belgian counterpart- he’s on £40k per week at Bournemouth, whereas Alderweireld is paid double that.
Stating that the young centre-back is already at the level of Alderweireld would be just a tad sensationalist. But with the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino and the abundance of experience still present in the defence in the form of Jan Vertonghen and Hugo Lloris just behind, he would indeed have a great chance of progressing to a similar level over the next few years. Well worth the investment then.