Nathan Aké – Loan Report
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on February 19, 2016
Quique Sánchez Flores has used Aké (20) as a regular starter in his impressive Watford team, which is great to see. It’s hard for a young player, especially who is on loan, to get regular appearances for a side in the Premier League – take a look at Patrick Bamford at Crystal Palace for example. It’s great for our man to get some regular Premier League appearances under his belt and to improve his development particularly for a team doing so well in the league (for a newly promoted side).
Let’s take a look at Nathan Aké’s stats for Watford this season:
Football statistics giants Squawka have given him a performance score of 218 which makes him the 6th best Watford player. It is also higher than; Gary Cahill, Thibaut Courtois, Diego Costa and our sporadic left back – Baba Rahman.
(Of course Squawka Score isn’t the most accurate and defining statistic – but it can provide insight into their performances as a (comparative) big picture.)
Despite playing left back in a fairly structured & defensive set up, Aké has managed to get on the scoresheet himself in the league as well as create 7 chances – just one less than our first team left back Cèsar Azpilicueta. However, as a defender you are of course judged on your defensive duties, and Nathan Aké has only won 32 out of his 69 attempted tackles (46%) but has won 22 out of 36 headers (61%). He’s great going forward, which we’ve seen in a Chelsea shirt multiple times before in pre-season, completing 5 out of his 9 take ons and winning 8 fouls.
Most importantly Nathan Aké has made zero defensive errors. Compared to Gary Cahill, Nemanja Matic, Kurt Zouma and Branislav Ivanovic who have made 2 each.
So the big question; can Nathan Aké make it into our first team? My answer, yes. Although not as a regular starter. As you can see in his stats above he doesn’t necessarily stand out as an elite ball winner nor as a creative full back but his versatility (can play centre back, left back and defensive midfielder) and consistently above average performances can definitely be of good use to Chelsea, especially with our shaky defence as of late. I feel he could be a great player to have as a rotation option and someone we can rely on if we have injuries or a congested fixture list.
Hopefully Nathan Aké can continue his good performances for Watford, keep playing in the first team on a regular basis and then be used for Chelsea’s first team in the 2016/17 season.
Statistics from Squawka.com