Jose Mourinho worked with Nathan Ake at Chelsea and is keen on luring him over to Tottenham in the summer, but would the Bournemouth man fit the bill?
With the reported £120 million Mourinho will have in the summer to revamp the side, the Portuguese gaffer is willing to spend about a third of that (£40 million) on the Dutch centre back. Bournemouth sit in 16th place in the Premier League, two points above the dreaded relegation zone. Spurs stand to benefit massively if the Cherries make the drop, as Ake would certainly be swooped up by a top flight squad.
Ake, who has played in all but 55 minutes of the current campaign, has come of age since taking a more prominent role at Bournemouth. Unfortunately Ake is the backbone of one of the league’s most porous defences, with the Cherries so far conceding 40 goals. Only West Ham (43), Norwich (47), Aston Villa (47) and Southampton (46) have allowed more.
While Ake cannot be faulted for plying his trade for a side whose manager plays a run and gun style, he must take some accountability, regardless of his team’s playing style, for being the most influential individual in one of the top flight’s worst defences. I don’t want to scapegoat him, but the buck must stop somewhere. Admittedly he’s not getting ample support from his colleagues and coaching staff.
Having said that, Ake gained Mourinho’s trust at their time together in west London with Chelsea. Ake is powerful, strong, aerially excellent and quick off the dash. And his age, 24, is perfect for an up and coming centre back ready to take the next step in his career. He has a tendency, akin to Davinson Sanches, to make an impetuous, impulsive decision, but he certainly has an upside worth exploring further.
Ake, with the experience he’d gain learning under the defensive structure of Mourinho’s teachings, could indeed thrive at Tottenham.
He has the physical prowess to dominate. Now he needs to work on the intangibles, which includes improving his decision making. But he’s a player Mourinho can nurture and develop, as long as the gaffer stays at Tottenham long enough to see the project through.
And as we’ve learned through Mourinho’s chop-and-change past, that is a big if.