If there’s three traits that our current defensive options are lacking it’s pace, athleticism and quality on the ball.
With all of the above and Eddie Howe’s arrival in mind, I would be surprised if we didn’t take a look at Nathan Ake in January.
The Dutchman was one of Howe’s best signings at Bournemouth and, as a result, sealed a £40m move to Manchester City just a few months after the Cherries were relegated to the Championship.
Fast forward almost 18 months, the defender has struggled for game time under Pep Guardiola and could well move on for regular game time – something that may be vital if he’s to force his way back into the Netherland side ahead of next summer’s World Cup in Qatar.
He’s started just three Premier League games so far this season and featured twice in the Champions League, so it remains to be seen if Man City will be willing to let him leave.
One thing that seems pretty certain, however, is that Howe would jump at the chance to be reunited with the 26-year-old who rarely let him down at Bournemouth.
Here’s what he had to say about Ake prior to his big move to The Etihad last year:
“Am I surprised in interest in Nathan? No, because he’s been a model of consistency. I think he has performed very well for us for a long, long period of time.
“He’s been outstanding for us from the moment he’s signed. Not just on the pitch but off the pitch as well.
“He has really contributed and he’s developing into a real leader for us – very popular in the dressing room – can’t speak highly enough of him.”
Could Ake be the man to kick-start our January spending under new owners now a familiar face is in the dugout? I wouldn’t be surprised…