Manchester City new-boy Nathan Ake has heaped praise onto Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and explained what he’s tried to take from his game.
The pair have played together for the Dutch national team, and City fans would no doubt love to see Ake learn from Van Dijk as he looks to bring similar defensive quality and leadership to Pep Guardiola’s side.
Van Dijk had a star role for Liverpool in their Premier League title victory last season, and now City have strengthened in order to try and wrestle the trophy back.
Ake looked a solid performer at previous club Bournemouth, but it remains to be seen if he can step up with a move to the Etihad Stadium.
Having learned from Van Dijk, however, he’s surely put himself in a strong position to do well for City, and fans will be encouraged that he’s clearly picked a good role model.
“Over the last three years or so they formed a great partnership in the national team but especially with Virgil being more experienced and older the way he behaves on the pitch as a leader – he’s always talking, he’s always organising the line, helping other people in front of him,” Ake told the Manchester Evening News.
“I’ve picked up those kind of things over the years and try to implement them in my own game and get that leadership. It’s not easy. In the last year especially I tried to pick it up at Bournemouth more on the pitch, sometimes off it.
“Things like organising the team, certain situations when the team is not playing well, trying to pick the team up, trying to give information, even in training sessions trying to get the team going and stuff like that.
“That is what Virgil does all the time and that is what I have been trying to learn. I think I have got better over the last year, I still have things to improve and I’m sure I can do that.”