Nathan Ake wants to fight for his place at Manchester City and has high hopes for himself for next season. The Dutchman may, according to The Times leave this summer with a good offer the Citizens, but aims for a longer stay. “A base place at City next season is realistic,” are the ambitious words of Ake, who is very pleased with the qualities of Pep Guardiola.
Aké appeared in 27 official games for Guardiola’s team last season; much more than in the 2020/21 season, when he only appeared in ten official games. The 27-year-old Dutchman therefore looks back with satisfaction on the past year in England. “I think last season was really the first season that I was really just 100 percent present and I also just played a lot more games than the season before,” he says in conversation with the NOS† “So you do notice an improvement in how you play. I felt good. I just want to try to push even more next season and try even more to go for that spot.”
Ake is clear when asked if there are times when he thinks it would be better to leave City. “No, not at the moment. I think last year it was just really unfortunate with injuries at the wrong times, long injuries. So I don’t really count that year for myself,” said Aké, who has high expectations of himself for next season. “Do I have the feeling that a starting place is realistic? Yes of course, I think you should have that intention. You can’t go into the season with the intention of thinking you’re not going to play. This season I have played a lot more and I will do everything I can to play even more next year.”
Guardiola was still extremely praising in mid-April when he was asked about Aké. “He is so reliable,” the Spaniard said at a press conference. “If you behave in your life the way he does, you will always play well. He is always cheerful and busy helping others. He is an exceptional person. He is now getting the minutes he deserves and he has done well.” Aké is also delighted to have Guardiola as his trainer and praises his qualities. “The tactical element, how he prepares the matches and does something different every game because an opponent plays like that and the spaces are elsewhere, I like that. Those small details.”
Aké was acquired by Manchester City from Bournemouth two years ago for around €45 million. Despite his 27 games last season, the defender has to make do with a reserve role under coach Guardiola. Since his move from Bournemouth, Aké has made up to 40 official appearances for the Citizens† Last season he again failed to become a basic player, although he made more minutes than the season before. Guadiola called on the defender in fourteen Premier League matches, in which he was good for two goals. In the Dutch national team, the counter now stands at 25 official matches and 3 goals.