Chelsea could look to reunite with Nathan Ake once their transfer ban is over, according to a report by The Telegraph.
It is claimed Frank Lampard could turn to the AFC Bournemouth defender as a replacement for David Luiz – who joined Arsenal on Deadline Day – should he not be satisfied with Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma and Fikayo Tomori.
The Telegraph also note that Ake could be available for just £40m as well, as the Blues are understood to have included that stipulation in the £20m deal that took the Holland international to the Cherries two years ago.
Bringing Ake back to Stamford Bridge could be a shrewd piece of business by Chelsea once their transfer ban is over, especially if he is available for just £40m as his stats go a long way into backing up why that fee could be seen as a bargain in today’s game.
According to WhoScored, the 24-year-old managed to average 1.7 tackles, 0.8 interceptions and an impressive 6.1 clearances in his 38 Premier League matches for Bournemouth – making him one of Eddie Howe’s top performers last season.
To put the £40m transfer figure and those stats into some context regarding central defenders, Manchester United just shelled out a world-record £80m to acquire Harry Maguire, who had recorded an average of 1 tackle, 1.2 interceptions and 4.9 clearances per 90 mins from his 31 top-flight appearances for Leicester City last year.
But, as the report suggests, Lampard will only make a move for his former team-mate should he not be happy with his current crop of defenders.
Looking back at last season’s data, Rudiger only managed to average 1 tackle, 1 interception and 2.9 clearances in his 33 appearances in the Premier League, whereas Christensen only averaged 1.3 tackles, 0.5 interceptions and 3.4 clearances in his eight top-flight outings (WhoScored).
Zouma impressed on loan at Everton and recorded 1 tackle, 1.7 interceptions and 3.8 clearances in his 32 outings, whilst Tomori excelled in the Championship under Lampard at Derby County with 2.3 tackles, 1.5 interceptions and 3.9 clearances in 47 matches.
Clearly, stats are rather subjective at times and do not always show the full picture as they can depend on the way the team operates in front of them, for example, Chelsea have the likes of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho making sure the ball hardly ever reaches the back four, with the pair averaging 2.1 tackles each per match.
Chelsea, arguably, already have four top centre-backs that could still do a job for the club for many years to come as they all still have plenty of time left in their careers.
However, taking Ake’s return last year and the fact that he appears to go from strength-to-strength with each match that he plays in – as the historical data by WhoScored seems to back up – £40m could be a snip for the former Blue.
If things do not go to plan for Lampard’s Blues this season, perhaps, a return to SW6 could be on the cards for the Holland international.
Chelsea fans, would you like to see Ake back at Stamford Bridge? Would you sign him for £40m? Let us know your thoughts by sharing them in the comments section below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!