Premier League

Forget Ake: Tottenham should instead sign Netherlands teammate Matthijs de Ligt

Forget Ake: Tottenham should instead sign Netherlands teammate Matthijs de Ligt

According to a recent report from Sky Sports, Tottenham are keeping a close eye on Nathan Ake ahead of a possible move in the near future. The Netherlands international currently plays his football at Premier League side Bournemouth and has done so permanently since 2017, albeit he did enjoy a successful loan spell at the Vitality Stadium in the first half of the 2016/17 season before being recalled by parent club Chelsea.

Yet reports suggest that Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs are keeping tabs on the Dutchman as they seek to improve their centre back ranks given the futures of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen are uncertain, and while Ake would likely be a good addition, the North Londoners should forget about him and instead seek to lure compatriot Matthijs de Ligt to the club.

The Breakdown

Ultimately, there can be little doubting that 23-year-old Ake has genuine pedigree at Premier League level having performed well for Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth in the last few years, appearing 60 times for the South Coast outfit to help them become an established top-flight side.

Yet there remain some question marks over the Cherries defensively given they shipped 61 goals in their 38 Premier League games last week, while Ake’s lack of experience on the European stage may well be of concern to manager Pochettino, especially given he would likely be signed as a possible first-choice for the 2019/20 campaign.

Yet there are fewer concerns about the capabilities of fellow defender de Ligt, who at the tender age of 19 has already played 76 times for Dutch giants Ajax, and in that time has proven why he is being so highly-rated by many around Europe.

The centre back came up through the ranks at the Eredivisie heavyweights and made his senior debut for the club back in 2016, from which he has since gone from strength to strength to become a regular in the side – in fact, he has been captaining Erik ten Hag’s side this term to underline his growing maturity.

And in helping Ajax to a second place finish in the Dutch top-flight last season, at the same time finishing as the division’s lowest conceders with 33 goals against in their 34 matches, it’s pretty clear that de Ligt is having a big influence on things at the Johan Cruyff Arena – there’s a reason Tottenham were keen on his services during the summer.

And if Pochettino is looking for someone with European experience, someone who has excelled at a European giant, and someone who could come in straight away and become a first-choice in his Tottenham backline, 19-year-old de Ligt is without doubt his man.

So while Bournemouth’s Ake is certainly someone who could have a bright future, and his arrival would help Spurs fulfil their home-grown quota, they should forget about him and instead seek to land one of the brightest young defenders in European football at present, namely Netherlands international de Ligt.

Tottenham fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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