Manchester United slipped to eighth in the Premier League table following a 3-1 defeat to rivals Manchester City at the weekend.
The Red Devils were looking to continue their excellent record at the Etihad Stadium but were simply no match for Pep Guardiola’s men. The Citizens took an early lead through David Silva with Sergio Aguero doubling their advantage shortly after half-time. United clawed one back when Anthony Martial netted a penalty before Ilkay Gundodan finished a 44-pass move to give the Citizens the bragging rights.
The result leaves United a massive 12 points behind their rivals in the standings, seemingly any hopes of a title challenge. Once again, Jose Mourinho was left to bemoan his side’s defending, and it’s clear the Portuguese will enter the market for a new centre-back when the window reopens in January. Reports suggest the United board are willing to back him significantly in order to improve their fortunes in the New Year.
One man who should be top of his shortlist is Bournemouth defender – Nathan Ake. Valued at £22.5m by Transfermarkt, the Dutchman signed permanently for the Cherries last summer from Chelsea after impressing during a season-long loan. Ake has been a crucial player under Eddie Howe, and his impressive performances have helped the club to sixth in the Premier League table this season. Howe is eager to keep his star defender at the club but is reportedly fearful of losing him in the January window with plenty of top clubs interested.
Ake is a modern-day centre-back who excels with the ball at his feet, completing 88% of his passes in the Premier League so far this season. The Dutch international has also shown first-hand to Mourinho that he is a top defender after scooping the man of the match award in the game against United earlier in the season, as well as having worked with him in west London. The 23-year-old is still developing and improving making him the ideal January recruit.
Chelsea have a £40m buy-back clause in his contract, but the Red Devils must ensure they are first in line for his services.
Manchester United fans, thoughts?
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