NATHAN AKE

Australian Four Four Two - - FEATURES -

Club: Bournemouth Fee: $35 mil­lion Po­si­tion: De­fender It’s no co­in­ci­dence that the Cher­ries’ worst spell of last sea­son came in the im­me­di­ate after­math of the Dutch cen­tral de­fender’s re­call to Chelsea at the start of Jan­uary. Prior to his re­turn to SW6, Bournemouth had kept clean sheets in their wins against Stoke, Le­ices­ter and Swansea (and came back from 3-1 down to beat Liver­pool 4-3) from mid-Novem­ber to the New Year. The south-coast side did not win again un­til mid-March – a run that in­cluded a 3-1 loss against doomed Hull as well as a 6-3 ham­mer­ing away at Ever­ton – and were in rel­e­ga­tion trou­ble be­fore a re­vival late on in the cam­paign. A club-record $35m ar­rival ear­lier in the sum­mer, Ake must now build on that ini­tial Dean Court prom­ise – and cut out in­di­vid­ual er­rors which pre­vented the young de­fender from ful­fill­ing his po­ten­tial un­der An­to­nio Conte. “It’s a short ca­reer,” Ake said on leav­ing the Blues, for whom he made five out­ings last sea­son. “I’m 22 now, I feel like I have had good ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing matches and you want to con­tinue that.” If the Cher­ries’ early losses this term are any­thing to go by, he will need to.

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