Good news if you are a Bournemouth fan as the Dorset club have completed the second signing in less than 24 hours. After the arrival of England international Jermain Defoe yesterday afternoon bolstering their attacking ranks they have now made an addition at the other end of the field.
An addition that will be a familiar face as the club has signed Nathan Ake on a permanent deal. A deal that has cost The Cherries somewhere in the region of £20m, that said it will come as money well spent as the club certainly missed his presence in the second half of last season.
Ake spent the first half of the 2016/17 campaign on loan at the Vitality Stadium with the Dutch international going on to make 12 appearances while also scoring three times and it was the string of impressive performances that meant Chelsea boss Antonio Conte called him back to Stamford Bridge as cover.
But when back in West London he only managed to make 2 league appearances, the kind of minimal game time which would arguably have Ake still wishing he was playing in the Black and Red of Bournemouth for the duration of last season.
The former Watford loanee was a key feature in Bournemouth’s defence in 2016 and it is fair to say that the club’s performances did suffer after his departure as Eddie Howe’s men went on a seven game streak without a win as they adapted to life without Ake.
Thankfully though Bournemouth managed to get themselves out of the rut and went onto finish in the top half of the table as they secured 9th place in the Premier League on the final day of the season, considering at one point many had them down as sufferers of ‘Second Season Syndrome’ that was quite the turn around.
Ake who now becomes Bournemouth’s record signing will also join up with another familiar as he links up with former Chelsea teammate Asmir Begovic. The Bosnian international was captured in early May and will be installed as the number 1 goalkeeper next season.
During the announcement of the deal, Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe said
“Nathan is an outstanding young player with a fantastic attitude and a great desire to learn and develop.
“He has a very bright future ahead of him and I’m very pleased to say that future is here.”
And with his route to first team football all but but blocked at Stamford Bridge then it made perfect sense to return to a ground where he was effective last season. With Bournemouth earning a top half finish last season the aim will be to once again establish themselves as a top 10 club during the upcoming campaign.
If Nathan Ake does not have the squad number 47, I’ll be very disappointed.