Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with central defenders on plenty of occasions so far this season while the futures of both Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen have been hanging in the balance.
Both central midfield and central defence are regarded as problem areas for Tottenham. The consequence has been a barrage of rumours concerning a multitude of potential arrivals, including Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake.
According to a report published by the Daily Mirror back in October, Tottenham are interested in Bournemouth’s crown jewel after watching him blossom on the south coast. Ake has rapidly established himself as one of the Cherries’ most indispensable talents since arriving from Chelsea in a £20 million deal, but a core permutation of his form has been the growing interest in his signature.
Bournemouth, though, have recently been thumped by Liverpool and Tottenham, two fixtures in which Ake’s inexperience was exposed by high quality players. Spurs were perhaps a little fortuitous to emerge as 5-0 winners but Bournemouth, Ake included, did little to help themselves at times.
On paper, Ake has all of the attributes which are required to thrive at Tottenham: he is excellent in possession, blessed with pace, strong in the tackle, intelligent and able to slot in at full-back when required.
However, sometimes his exuberance and determination to dispossess the opponent can lead to foolish decision-making which leaves him exposed. That is par for the course for a central defender of his age and his individual mistakes against both Tottenham and Liverpool should not be regarded as reason to dismiss his credentials to successfully make the step up to a top-six club.
If anything, Pochettino will have helped him to understand the areas in which he is in most need of improvement, and his desire to maximise the potential of young players will only have been fuelled by what many perceived as a missed opportunity for him to impress the Argentine.
Pochettino has proven throughout his career that he is not a fan of signing the finished article; younger players with immense scope for improvement, who he is able to shape in his own vision on the training ground, are preferred in the transfer market.
Ake fits that description and, if anything, his performance at Wembley will have tickled Pochettino’s fancy as it simply illuminated how far the already solid defender can develop under the right coach.
Tottenham fans – thoughts? Let us know below!
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