After a long season with AFC Bournemouth, Nathan Aké was ready for a vacation. To try to give the relegation from the Premier League a spot. Barely back from that holiday, the Dutchman suddenly became a player of one of the biggest clubs in the world.
In Zeist, where he met with the Dutch national team to prepare for the Nations League-doubles with Poland and Italy, the defender explains how the transfer to Manchester City came about.
“I didn’t expect it to happen so soon,” says Aké, who heard at his holiday address from his agent that City and Bournemouth had agreed on a transfer fee of – allegedly – 44 million euros.
“Then I flew straight to Manchester to sign.”
Before that there was an important moment: a conversation with the trainer. And that’s not the least of City’s successes: one of the most successful coaches of recent years: Pep Guardiola.
Getting to know Guardiola
The maintenance impressed 25-year-old Aké, who left Feyenoord for Chelsea at a young age. “It was quite an easy and relaxed conversation actually. It was about normal life, about family, that sort of thing.”
“You want to get to know each other a little and that should make you feel warm on both sides. After that, it was easy for me to choose Manchester City.”
Of course it was also about football. “He likes the fact that I can play in many different positions. City plays a lot of matches over the course of a season and therefore needs a large selection.”
Orange is looking for linksback
That multifunctionality is also appreciated by the Dutch national team, where he was both left and central in defense during his eleven international matches. With the disappearance of Daley Blind, the left back position is currently vacant.
Aké: “My preference now is to go to the centre, as I have played a lot at the club there in recent years. But I’ve also been in other positions so many times that I don’t really care anymore”