Aké playing for Chelsea in 2013
|Full name||Nathan Benjamin Aké|
|Date of birth||18 February 1995|
|Place of birth||The Hague, Netherlands|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|2003–2007||ADO Den Haag|
|2015||→ Reading (loan)||5||(0)|
|2015–2016||→ Watford (loan)||24||(1)|
|2016–2017||→ Bournemouth (loan)||10||(3)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15:29, 26 December 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 22:50, 20 December 2017 (UTC)
He made his Premier League debut on 26 December 2012 against Norwich City as a 17-year-old, replacing Juan Mata in added time at the end of a 1–0 win at Carrow Road. He made his first start for the club in the FA Cup on 27 February 2013, in a 2–0 win against Championship side Middlesbrough. He was chosen to start in a defensive midfield position for Chelsea in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final clash with Rubin Kazan in Russia on 11 April, a match that finished in a 3–2 loss but resulted in a 5–4 aggregate victory. Aké was an unused substitute for Chelsea in the Europa League final against Benfica in Amsterdam on 16 May, which Chelsea won 2–1. He was voted Chelsea's Young Player of the Year on 16 May, and made his first Premier League start three days later in the 2–1 win against Everton at Stamford Bridge on the last day of the campaign.
On 8 August 2013, Aké signed a new five-year contract with Chelsea, lasting until 2018. Following his permanent promotion to the first team, on 21 October 2014 Aké made his Champions League debut from the bench, coming into the game for Cesc Fàbregas in the 60th minute during a 6–0 home win over Maribor, and provided an assist for Eden Hazard's second goal.
On 25 March 2015, Aké was loaned to Championship club Reading for a month, making his first of five appearances against Cardiff City in a 1–1 draw ten days later. Although he only made one league appearance for Chelsea in the whole season, as a substitute in a 3–0 loss at West Bromwich Albion on 18 May, manager José Mourinho stated that he would receive a winner's medal for his contribution to the team that season.
On 14 August 2015, Aké completed a season-long loan move to newly promoted Premier League team Watford, after having signed a new five-year contract with Chelsea. Eleven days later, he made his debut for the Hornets in a League Cup second round match against Preston North End, which ended in a 1–0 defeat for his side. Aké played his first league game coming off the bench against Newcastle United 19 September 2015, helping the Hornets hold on for a 2–1 win. He scored his first senior goal on 20 December, opening a 3–0 win over Liverpool at Vicarage Road in the fourth minute, after Ádám Bogdán dropped a corner kick.
During his time with the Hornets, manager Quique Sánchez Flores primarily deployed Aké as a left-back. His performance and work ethics earned him the Watford's Young Player of the Season award.
On 29 June 2016, Aké joined Bournemouth on loan for the 2016–17 campaign. On 21 August 2016, he made his Bournemouth debut in a 1–0 away defeat against West Ham United, replacing Jordan Ibe due to team-mate, Harry Arter's dismissal after a challenge on Cheikhou Kouyaté. Following the defeat to West Ham, Aké made his full debut against Morecambe in the Second Round of the EFL Cup on 24 August 2016. On 19 November 2016, in his first league start, Aké scored his first goal for Bournemouth in a 1–0 away victory over Stoke City.
On 4 December 2016, Bournemouth played Liverpool and overturned a 3–1 deficit with 15 minutes to go to win the game 4–3, Aké scoring the winning goal after 93 minutes. This was his third Premier League goal and the second against Liverpool.
Return to Chelsea
Aké was recalled by Chelsea on 8 January 2017, making his first appearance for the club since the recall on 28 January in a 4–0 FA Cup fourth round victory over fellow West London club Brentford. He was also selected to start in Chelsea's 2–0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the fifth round of the same competition on 18 February.
On 30 June 2017, Aké signed a contract with Premier League club Bournemouth, on a permanent basis, for a club record fee of £20 million, with the player officially re-joining the club the following day, when the 2017 transfer window opened. On 21 July 2017, it was reported that his former club, Chelsea, had inserted a buy-back clause for Aké.
Aké has represented the Netherlands at every youth level since his under-15 debut in 2009, making 54 appearances in total. He has captained both the U-17 and the U-19 sides. Aké was selected into both squads that won the UEFA European Under-17 Championships in 2011 and 2012 in Serbia and in Slovenia, respectively.
Aké made his international debut in a friendly against Morocco which the Netherlands won 2–1.
Style of play
Aké has been praised for his versatility, being able to play at both full-back, centre-back and in defensive midfield, which has been attributed to a good work ethic, professionalism and gifted technique. His calmness on the ball and appearance have led to comparisons to former Dutch legend and Chelsea player Ruud Gullit, with his versatility compared to David Luiz.
Aké stated that even though he has played as a defender in recent seasons, he sees himself as a holding midfielder and that his favourite position is in the midfield.
- As of match played 26 December 2017
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other||Total|
|Reading (loan)||2014–15||Championship||5||0||0||0||0||0||–||2 |–||5||0|
|Watford (loan)||2015–16||Premier League||24||1||3||0||1||0||–||–||28||1|
|Bournemouth (loan)||2016–17||Premier League||10||3||0||0||2||0||–||–||12||3|
- As of match played 15 October 2017
- "Clubs submit retained and released lists". Premier League. 7 June 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
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- "N. AKÉ". SOCCERWAY. Retrieved 26 Sep 2014.
- "Captain Aké learns from Chelsea stars". UEFA. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- "Chelsea star Ake could snub Netherlands for Ivory Coast". Goal.com. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
- "Ake makes Holland Debut in Friendly". Daily Mail. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
- "Ruud boy: Chelsea youth star Ake is a mini Gullit with his dreadlocks and cool head". Daily Mail. Retrieved 14 Feb 2013.
- "Nathan Aké on Watford, Mourinho and the Chelsea loanees' WhatsApp group". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 Apr 2016.
- "Near and Far: Nathan Ake". Chelsea F.C. Retrieved 3 May 2017.
- Nathan Aké at Soccerway
- "Games played by Nathan Aké in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
- "Games played by Nathan Aké in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
- "Games played by Nathan Aké in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
- "Games played by Nathan Aké in 2016/2017". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
- "Games played by Nathan Aké in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
- "Games played by Nathan Aké in 2017/2018". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
- "Chelsea Annual Awards". Retrieved 22 August 2016.
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