Premier League • England

Thomas Tuchel a ‘big fan’ of Nathan Ake, as Chelsea consider bringing back Man City star

Nathan Ake during a Manchester City match

Thomas Tuchel is reportedly an admirer of Manchester City defender Nathan Ake, who could therefore get the chance to return to Chelsea.

Ake was on Chelsea’s books between 2011 and 2017. He only ever made 17 appearances for their senior side. Instead, he spent the majority of his time there out on loan with other clubs, such as Reading, Watford and Bournemouth.

The latter bought him permanently in 2017, before developing him into a player they could sell to Manchester City within three years. Since his move up north, Ake has won back-to-back Premier League titles.

However, he has done so as largely a backup player. Although he gets more gametime than he did previously at Chelsea, Ake remains fourth-choice in his centre-back role for City. Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte and John Stones are above him in the hierarchy.

Therefore, a few clubs have been looking at Ake as someone whose situation they could take advantage of. For example, he has been linked with a reunion with ex-Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe at Newcastle United.

But according to the staff of Gianluca Di Marzio’s website, another contender for Ake’s signature could be Chelsea themselves. It is claimed that Tuchel is a “big fan” of the Netherlands international.

Of course, Chelsea have a clear need for new defenders this summer. They have lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, while Cesar Azpilicueta may also want out.

The report reminds that Jules Kounde of Sevilla is a top target. But the Blues will likely need multiple reinforcements at the back. Hence, Ake is also on their agenda as one “to keep an eye on”.

Nathan Ake better equipped than before for Chelsea

As a left-footed defender who can be comfortable in a back three or back four, Ake is a particularly interesting profile. Any asking price from City for the 27-year-old is not mentioned, although previous estimations have indicated it could be quite steep.

If the valuation is reasonable, though, he could be a good option for Chelsea to consider. He should stance much more of a chance there now than he did earlier in his career.

Since Tuchel holds him in high esteem, it would be a useful operation for the west London club.

Interestingly, he is not the only player who could make the move from City to Chelsea. Raheem Sterling is also reportedly a target for the Blues at the opposite end of the pitch.