Virgil van Dijk has given a glowing referral to international teammate and Premier League counterpart Nathan Ake with the big Dutchman claiming the Bournemouth defender ‘has the quality’ to play at the highest level.
The two Netherland internationals recently locked horns during Liverpool’s 2-1 victory over Bournemouth at Anfield last weekend with Van Dijk providing the match-winning assist for Sadio Mane while Ake also impressed at the home of the Premier League champions-elect.
According to the Daily Echo, Ake, is currently the subject of interest regarding a number of Premier League clubs including Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal all interested in securing the 25-year-old’s signature – Leicester City are also said to be in the hunt.
Ake has been a sensation for the Cherries since making his switch from Stamford Bridge to the Vitality Stadium permanent in 2017. He has clocked up 115 appearances for Eddie Howe’s team and has a clinical act for scoring for a defender having registered 11 goals as well as five assists.
Van Dijk was full of praise for the former Chelsea defender who is currently gripped in a relegation battle with Bournemouth currently struggling in the relegation zone.
“First of all, he’s a fantastic guy,” he told the Daily Echo.
“I speak with him quite a bit at the national team and I think he’s a fantastic player as well.
“On Saturday he showed with clearances and I think he stepped up when he had the armband as well. It’s just good to see that he’s improving.
“I don’t know what might happen with him in the future with Bournemouth, you just have to stay grounded – but I am not worried about that at all.
“He has the quality but he has to have more than just the quality these days. But he’s still young, he’s improving and you never know what decision might happen.
“It’s all dependent on how the season will end for Bournemouth, too – but I am very positive about him. He’s a fantastic guy and player as well.”
What RTK has to say
Van Dijk is spot-on.
Liverpool supporters witnessed first-hand just how effective the defender was when the Cherries came to the home of the Premier League champions-elect last weekend.
Ake was constantly primed and positioned to thwart off numerous Reds attacks with a number of crucial blocks and interceptions.
If the Reds didn’t already have the best central defensive partnership currently in the English top-flight it may have been worth Jurgen Klopp weighing up a potential summer bid.