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Inside FutbolInside Futbol

01/08/2020 - 21:49 BST

You Want Centre-Back To Be Calm – Steve Nicol Unsure On Manchester City Swoop For Nathan Ake


Former Premier League defender Steve Nicol believes the jury is out on Manchester City's proposed signing of Nathan Ake and stressed the Citizens' record of signing centre-backs is not good.

Manchester City have had a bid of £41m accepted by Bournemouth for Ake and will look to wrap up the deal quickly to take him to the Etihad Stadium.  


The Citizens struggled for consistency in the Premier League this season as Liverpool took the title and fingers were pointed at the side's defence.

Nicol, who became a legend at Liverpool, is far from sure that Ake will fit in at the Etihad Stadium, believing there are big question marks about him.

And Nicol, while admitting Ake is better than other options Manchester City have, stressed that the Citizens do not have the best track record of signing centre-backs.

“When I think of Nathan Ake, you can’t argue he has not had a good season, albeit Bournemouth have got relegated”, Nicol told ESPN FC.

“When you think of Ake, you think of a guy making last ditch tackles, sliding tackles, being physical and I’m not sure that’s what you want your centre-back to be.

“You want your centre-back to be cool and calm, and to be unnoticed.

"You don’t want your centre-back coming off being the man of the match, covered in dirt because he has had to slide all over the place.

"And why is he sliding all over the place? Is his starting position wrong? Or is it the players around him?

“So, this is a big question mark for me. Yes, Ake is definitely better than what they have right now as far as options are concerned.

“But is he any better defensively against teams that are breaking against Manchester City? I’m not so sure, so this is a big question mark and you have also got to say Man City’s record of signing proper centre-backs is not particularly good.”

Manchester City have been linked with Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly and it remains to be seen if they make a move for him.