The response to Nathan Ake’s anticipated arrival at Manchester Metropolis has been combined, to say the least.
There isn’t any doubt he is an efficient defender, and a Premier League switch was inevitable following Bournemouth’s relegation to the Championship.Ake has carried out at a excessive normal for the Cherries, displaying his potential that noticed him rise by means of the ranks at Chelsea and into the Dutch nationwide aspect.
Nevertheless, going from captaining a relegated outfit to becoming a member of title-challengers Metropolis, for a substantial £40m payment, has been considered in some quarters as a step past his capabilities. It is a aspect who spend massive parts of their video games defending in opposition to higher sides, quite than taking the sport to their opponents.
And it isn’t out of order to query why Metropolis are transferring for the chief of a defence who conceded 65 targets final season, the third-worst within the division.
However Metropolis wanted defenders this summer season, and with Ake obtainable, a transfer is sensible. He’s left-footed, will fill a homegrown spot in Metropolis’s Premier League squad, and he’s clearly higher than Bournemouth’s last place suggests.
The spectacular statistic of Ake’s involvement in zero errors resulting in a aim in 146 Premier League appearances was broadly shared after information of Metropolis’s bid for the Dutchman was introduced.
Look deeper, although, and there is likely to be one other metric that exhibits why Metropolis have made the transfer for a relegated centre-back to assist clear up their shortcomings on the again.
in 2019/20, Ake made a mean of 5.1 clearances per sport. With out context, that would simply spotlight how a lot strain the Cherries invited of their relegation combat, and certainly it was solely the third finest common in that exact stat amongst Bournemouth’s gamers. In isolation, clearances won’t be one of the simplest ways to establish new signings for a Metropolis crew who will construct from the again.
However examine his file to the remainder of the Premier League, and solely six gamers made extra clearances per sport than Ake amongst those that made an above-average variety of appearances.
Examine that determine to Metropolis’s defenders, and Ake averaged two extra clearances per sport than Nicolas Otamendi (3.0), who leads that metric on the Etihad. His fee of 1.2 interceptions per sport was bettered by solely Angelino (1.5), Eric Garcia (1.4), and Aymeric Laporte (1.3) at Metropolis, too.
Ake clearly, then, has a great positional sense and anticipation for the place forwards will ship the ball. Within the absence of Laporte final time period, that form of consciousness was clearly missing at instances and value Metropolis loads of factors.
Add in Ake’s go success fee of 87.6 per cent, the best in Bournemouth’s squad final season, and Metropolis coaches will really feel they will train their new man to discover a teammate when reducing out crosses and balls ahead quite than merely clear it.
That, they will train. The positional consciousness is tougher to educate.
After all, in comparison with Metropolis’s gamers, Ake might want to enhance his go success fee, with many gamers topping 90 per cent as Pep Guardiola likes to dominate possession.
Contemplating Bournemouth’s go success final season was 75.Four per cent, although, and so they had been 15th within the rankings for whole passes, and Ake’s share is way above what can be anticipated from a crew who’re extra direct. Give him extra alternatives to go, and he has the flexibility to discover a blue shirt.
For a participant who has a greater positional sense than a lot of his future teammates, and who boasts a aggressive and promising passing file, it is beginning to turn into clear why Metropolis recognized Ake as one answer to their defensive issues.