‘What a signing Txiki has done’ – Pep Guardiola heaps praise on ‘incredible’ Man City star

‘What a signing Txiki has done’ – Pep Guardiola heaps praise on ‘incredible’ Man City star

Pep Guardiola has heaped praise on Manchester City defender Nathan Ake after he was given a warm welcome on his first return to Bournemouth.

The Dutch defender made his first return to the Vitality Stadium since joining City in the summer of 2020. The Dutchman took some time to solidify his spot in Guardiola’s starting XI, but this season he has been one of the Premier League champion’s most important players.

Bournemouth fans showed their appreciation for a player that made a big contribution during three seasons on the South Coast.

And he was an impressive form again as helped City secure an important three points with a 4-1 victory.

“What a signing Txiki [Begiristain] has done,” Guardiola said. “What a signing in the locker room when he plays or doesn’t play.

“The applause he got when he was substituted and the guard of honour he has done for himself that means his impact was really good. We are very pleased to have him as a person and as a football player and we are delighted.”

Since joining City in 2020, Ake has featured 68 times, playing his part in two Premier League title-winning campaigns in 2020/21 and 2021/22.

The 28-year-old has made 28 appearances in all competitions for City this term, helping his side to nine clean sheets, as well as contributing two goals.

His versatility which allows him to also play a part at left-back for Pep Guardiola’s side has also been key, especially following the departure of Joao Cancelo to Bayern Munich on January’s deadline.

Chelsea’s attempts to bring Ake back to Stamford Bridge were blocked by City last summer, which shows how much the hierarchy value the 28-year old and a new deal at the Etihad could turn out to be one of the smartest moves City make as they approach the summer transfer window.

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