Nathan Ake completes Man City switch


Manchester City have signed Dutch international defender Nathan Ake from Bournemouth on a 5-year deal.

The 25-year-old says he is delighted to have joined City, a club he feels offers him everything he needs to win trophies and have a successful career.

“City have been the best side in England over the course of the last decade,” he said.

“Coming here is a dream for me. This is a top side full of world-class players. Everywhere you look in this squad there are big names with international pedigree.

“Pep (Guardiola) is a manager admired across the world – what he’s done in the game speaks for itself. The success he’s had is unbelievable and the style of football he plays really appeals to me.

“I know I’m going to have to work hard to get into the side, but that’s what I’m here to do. I’ll do whatever I can to make an impact and help the team win silverware.”

Ake’s footballing journey began at VV Wilhelmus at the age of six, but he moved to ADO Den Haag after two years, before signing for Feyenoord at the age of 12.

He was spotted by Chelsea after scoring against them in the final of the Willem II youth tournament and was invited to London where he met Didier Drogba, who encouraged him to sign for the club. He joined at 16 in 2011.

The defender was a key part of Chelsea’s 2012 FA Youth Cup winning side and then captained their U21s to the 2013/14 U21 Premier League title.

Rafa Benitez handed Ake his debut as a second-half sub against Norwich on Boxing Day 2012 and he made his first start in an FA Cup win over Middlesbrough.

However, his chances at Chelsea were limited and he went in search of regular first-team football. He spent a month on loan at Championship side Reading in 2015, making five appearances, before spending the 2015/16 season on loan at Watford, making 28 appearances for the Premier League side.

Bournemouth offered him a six-month loan the following campaign. He played 12 times and scored three goals for the Cherries and looked increasingly comfortable at the top level. He returned to Chelsea for the second half of the campaign and made five appearances.

Bournemouth made the move permanent that summer, signing Ake for £20 million. He became an essential player for the south coast side and made 109 appearances after joining permanently, scoring eight goals, playing every Premier League game in both the 17/18 and 18/19 seasons.

He collected 68 youth caps for the Netherlands from U15-U21, captaining both the U17s and U19s, and is a two-time European Championships winner having lifted the U17 titles in 2011 and 2012. He was named in the Team of the Tournament at the 2012 U17 Euros, in which he was captain and scored a penalty in the final penalty shootout.

He has since won 13 senior caps, scoring two goals, having made his debut in a 2-1 win over Morocco in May 2017.

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Edited by Tiyani wa ka Mabasa

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