Nathan Ake returning to his parent club early is a bitter blow for the Cherries. The timing is poor and he while be missed. But remember AFC Bournemouth are not a one-man team.
It might seem like he has a stalwart at the heart of the Cherries defence since forever, but he has only been with us since the beginning of the season. He didn’t even get into the first team until the twelfth league game of the season away to Stoke. He managed a mere eight games, yet he seemed indispensable.
There is no doubt that he is a very talented defender and he was a very valuable addition to the squad, but we were doing alright before he joined. In his first league start at Stoke he scored the winner and went on to get the goal in a 3-1 defeat to them up the road and of course the winner against Liverpool. In his eight game tenure we managed to get 13 points.
So how does that compare to the previous eight games before he made his legaue debut? The back four of Smith, Francis, Cook and Daniels were doing alright, they let in 11 goals and managed to pick up 11 points, only losing 3 times. With Ake, and Adam Smith in various positions, we managed to let in 15 goals and pick up 13 points, again only losing 3 times.
There is no doubt that Ake would have (or may still be) been a top class addition to the team. But, let’s not forget the players who got us where we are today. It’s not like we were rooted to the bottom three with a meagre points total. We were still a respectable 12th with 12 points, 7 points above the relegation zone
WHAT NEXT FOR AKE?
Now that we have disspelled the gloom, what did Ake and Chelsea have to say on the matter. Conte said it would give him options. We say that that option had better be play him in the first team against Leicester on Saturday. He will be wasted at Chelsea if he doesn’t play. Perhaps it is all a ruse to get his price tag up and sell him back to use at the end of January. We live in hope. Ake has yet to comment but ex-Chelsea assistant Ray Wilkins says Nathan Ake will be ‘distraught’ after being recalled. So are we.
Whatever happens, we can only thank you Nathan for the memories. That late, late winner against Liverpool will never ever be forgotten.