icon_corner icon_start_stop icon_start_stop icon_start_stop icon_post icon_miss icon_save icon_card_red icon_save icon_start_stop icon_sub icon_card_yellow accessibility icon account-off icon account-on icon arrow-left icon arrow-right icon attack icon chevron-down icon chevron-left icon chevron-right icon chevron-up icon Combined Shape Created with Sketch. cross icon defence icon icon_disallowed_goal email icon facebook icon giphy icon google icon instagram icon linkedin icon lock icon messenger icon padlock icon Svg Vector Icons : http://www.onlinewebfonts.com/icon Panel Created with Sketch. Pattern Created with Sketch. pinterest icon Icon_PlayButton Created with Sketch. plus-thin icon plus icon Created with Sketch. Created with Sketch. search icon soundcloud icon sub-in icon sub-out icon tweet icon twitter icon icon_user__out icon_user_out vimeo icon whatsapp icon icon_start_stop youtube icon

Club news

Nathan Ake: A class act


AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

What supporters have been saying about Nathan Ake speaks volumes of the player and the man.

Their adulation of the departing Dutchman has been both emphatic and almost unanimous.

In the opinion of the majority of supporters, Ake is the “greatest” player to have worn club colours.

Even older fans, spoiled by the likes of Ted MacDougall and Phil Boyer in the early 1970s, are saying they have been “privileged” to have watched him.

In the eyes of the vast majority, the 25-year-old defender will now stand alongside other club legends having become a role model, both on and off the pitch.

And while the circumstances surrounding his sale to Manchester City are tinged with disappointment, the overriding wish is to see him continue to excel under Pep Guardiola.

As promotion to the Premier League required the Cherries to recruit players of Ake’s calibre, relegation was always going to make it almost impossible to keep some of them.

And for someone who has hardly put a foot wrong since he signed permanently three years ago, trying to fend off suitors would have been futile and potentially-damaging to his career.

In short, Ake has earned and deserves his move to the Etihad following three outstanding seasons at Vitality Stadium.

Even if the Cherries had managed to avoid the drop, keeping their jewel in the crown would have been a tough ask.

While Ake’s commitment could never be questioned, his fondness for the club was reaffirmed when he took to Twitter to post an emotional message after the Cherries’ fate had been sealed.

“Devastated..”, he wrote. “Love this club no matter what! Thank you for all the support this year and sorry we couldn’t make it in the end.”     

From the moment Ake stepped foot in the door, he has oozed class.

Signed when he was just 22, he continued to make eye-catching progress under Eddie Howe’s tutelage, helping improve those around him by virtue of his stellar displays.

Ever present in his first two seasons following his permanent move, he played a starring role as the Cherries more than held their own in the top flight, his exploits seeing him sweep the honours board in the 2017/18 player-of-the-year awards.

A cultured and versatile defender, Ake has everything a modern-day centre-back needs – strength, anticipation, speed, awareness, aerial prowess, leadership qualities and assuredness on the ball.

He also has an eye for goal, his dramatic late winner against Liverpool during his loan spell in December 2016 giving the Cherries one of their fondest Premier League memories.

A humble and highly-intelligent individual, Ake was an absolute gentleman to deal with off the pitch as well, nothing was ever too much trouble and he always had time for supporters.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for everything Nathan – you are a class act.

Breaking News