Why Nathan Ake is key to Pep Guardiola’s plan for Man City

Manchester City are already making statements in the transfer market ahead of next season, having officially signed Ferran Torres and Nathan Ake for a combined total of around £61m.
Pep Guardiola appear intent on improving next year in order to regain their Premier League crown, with the sizeable investment in the latter being particularly notable.
Ake cost £41m despite his club suffering relegation, but City have supposedly chased his signature for quite some time. The Dutch defender obviously ticks a number of boxes for the Blues, with his preferred foot being a particular facet that Guardiola desired.
Left-footed central defenders aren’t very common, and the City boss has previously referenced the perks of deploying a left-footed centre-back alongside a right-footed teammate.
When Guardiola signed Aymeric Laporte – who is also left-footed – from Athletic Bilbao, he stated: “He is a left-footed player. He helped us to make our build-up and when the ball comes from the right, he immediately controls to the left and plays it to Leroy [Sane] – that is quicker than we would play with a right-footer in that position.”
The French defender suffered from knee injuries this season, though, and ended up missing the majority of matches. Guardiola often had to deploy Fernandinho in his place, but the Brazilian also uses the ball differently as shown below.
The purchase of Ake ensures that any problems encountered by injuries to Laporte further down the line are covered. He would be able to take his place as City’s left-sided centre-back and use the ball in a similar way, with his passing sonar below.
As evidenced, there isn’t much difference between the sonars of Ake and Laporte and that is likely to stem from preferred position and favoured foot. Guardiola now has adequate cover for his most valuable defender and if that was the case this season, it’s reasonable to suggest that City would’ve amassed a greater points total.
As the window develops, City’s spending is likely to continue but the importance of securing the presence of another left-footed centre-back should not be underestimated.

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