Arsenal told to make approach for 24-year-old versatile defender

By | February 14, 2020

Paul Merson believes Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal should attempt to sign former Chelsea centre-back Nathan Ake from Bournemouth this summer.

The 24-year-old Netherlands international Ake has emerged as one of the Cherries’ most important players since joining from Chelsea four years ago.

He initially impressed on loan in Eddie Howe’s side before joining on a permanent basis for a club record £20 million.

The Blues have been heavily linked with a swoop for their former player and Merson reckons Nathan would be a welcome addition at his former club Arsenal.

Questioned which areas Mikel Arteta should be looking to bolster ahead of the summer transfer market, Merson told Sky Sports: ‘They need a centre half and a world-class holding midfielder.

‘I think Arsenal need to play with a back three. They’re not good enough as defenders to play as a four.

‘Ake has pace and he’s played in England for a while, so if you brought him in for next season he’s not a player who will need time to get used to the league for six months.

‘Arsenal need to hit the ground running [next season] and everybody needs to know their jobs in the team.’

The former Republic of Ireland and Crystal Palace forward Clinton Morrison added: ‘They need another centre half and a holding midfielder. Nathan Ake could go in there, he’s a really good player.’

In his first transfer market as Arsenal manager, Arteta signed defensive pair Pablo Mari from Flamengo and Cedric Soares from PL rivals Southampton.

Arsenal have won just three matches since Arteta replaced Unai Emery in December and face Newcastle United next weekend.

Arsenal are currently tenth in the table, ten points below fourth-placed London rivals Chelsea.