Not many expected Nathan Ake to flourish at Manchester City after joining the blues from Bournemouth in da da da. But the Netherlands international has defied the odds, rising to become one of the best players at City. He was so good last season that he was even nominated for the club’s Player of the Season award at some point.
It’s not surprising then that the 28-year-old has put pen to paper on a two-year extension to his contract at Man City. That will keep him at the club until 2027. City apparently decided to reward the player for his outstanding performance last season by extending his contract by a further two years.
Pep Guardiola moved for the player in 2020 after Chelsea turned down the option to exercise their buy-back clause on his contract. Having come through the academy at Stamford Bridge he was sold to Bournemouth by the London side in 2017 after joining initially on loan. But following the club’s relegation to the Championship in 2020, he was snapped up by Manchester City as a backup to their centre-backs.
The defender was not expected to feature much for City and his first year at the club seemed to go according to expectations. He could hardly get into the team and even when the opportunity arose he suffered some injuries that further hampered his chances.
But last term saw a change in fortunes as the player was reborn under Pep Guardiola. He featured regularly for the Blues, missing only 12 of City’s 38 Premier League games. His performance in crucial games was also noteworthy and he even scored the only goal against Arsenal to fire City into the FA Cup fifth round.
Both in the Premier League and Champions League, he was rock solid and made the left-back position his own after Joao Cancelo abruptly left in the middle of the campaign, becoming one of Pep Guardiola’s most reliable players. Overall, he made 41 appearances for City across all competitions last term and played the entirety of City’s Champions League final win over Inter Milan to complete the treble.
The manager consistently spoke highly of him last season, so his value to the manager may have factored into the decision to extend his contract by an extra two years. It’s a well-deserved reward that should keep him at the Etihad Stadium until 2027.
“This is the best club in the world, I have no doubts about that,” Ake said in appreciation. “Being a Manchester City player makes me incredibly proud every single day.
“It’s a football club that expects excellence in every area, which makes for the perfect environment to improve. It drives me on and makes me better. I am at the stage of my career where I want to keep developing, and I can definitely do that here.
“Pep is the best manager in football – a genius who has made me see the game differently – so to be able to work with him for longer is a real privilege. I am so grateful to him for everything he has done for me, both personally and professionally.
“I also want to thank the City fans for their support. I have really felt it since I came here, and it helps me so much. My focus now is on making them proud and winning more trophies.”