According to the Daily Telegraph, Bournemouth are on the verge of completing the £20million signing of Chelsea centre-back Nathan Ake.
The prospective deal reportedly has a buy-back clause, so that the Blues can re-sign Ake in the future.
I have to say the Premier League champions selling the youngster surprises me. At 22-years old, he looks like a bright prospect. That is why they felt the need to include a buy-back clause in the deal.
Chelsea don’t have loads of defensive cover
Chelsea are not blessed with a host of central defensive options. Obviously, Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta were the first choice defensive trio last season.
Captain John Terry is set to leave, young Frenchman Kurt Zouma may move on loan. Danish defender Andreas Christensen is highly regarded and will likely be in the first team squad after two years on loan at German side Monchengladbach.
The Blues also have other young defenders such as Tomas Kalas, Fikayo Tomori, Jake Clarke-Salter and Ola Aina in the youth ranks. Maybe Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is set to give youth a chance if the club are allowing Ake to leave this summer.
Surely, Ake would have been a big asset, especially as he seemed very comfortable in the Premier League on loan at Bournemouth last season. Maybe he was just too good a player to keep happy on the bench.
A good move for Bournemouth and Ake
The move makes sense from both Ake and Bournemouth’s point of view. The 22-year-old obviously enjoyed his loan spell at the club in the first half of last season. At his age, he needs to be playing regular first team football.
The Dutchman has already proven he has immense potential and he would not have fulfilled that sitting on the Chelsea bench as a backup player. You can see why he has made the decision to move on this summer.
The choice of moving back to Bournemouth seemed like a logical one. The Cherries have become an established Premier League force under Eddie Howe. The south coast outfit plays some nice football and Ake fits in perfectly with that.
The Dutchman is a player comfortable on the ball and with the Bournemouth style of playing out from the back. Signing Ake on a permanent basis is a big move from Bournemouth. It is a statement signing and one that sends a message that they are here to stay.
The only downside to the deal for the Cherries is the buy-back clause. However, no matter what price it is set at least they will know that Ake will be their player for next season. That is unless the Blues face a major injury crisis and decide to activate it next January, which seems slightly unlikely.
Chelsea needs to strengthen this summer
Ake now looks set to leave Stamford Bridge. However, the Blues will know they need to strengthen their squad this summer to win the Premier League once again, something that they are odds of 10/3 to achieve next season.
The Blues are reportedly close to signing Monaco star Tiemoue Bakayoko. Meanwhile former striker Romelu Lukaku is also being touted as a possible summer arrival, as he looks destined to leave Everton this summer.
However, the club from south west London have not really been linked with moves for centre-backs so far this summer. Maybe Chelsea boss Conte believes that the options he has already at his disposal are enough to challenge next season.
For the sake of the Chelsea fans, I just hope he is right to put his faith in the club’s young defenders as cover. A defensive crisis could very easily derail their title challenge next season. The Blues may just be ruing the day they let a talented young Dutch star leave the club.
Have Chelsea made the right decision to sell Nathan Ake?
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