Why Leeds must sign this impressive 22-year-old PL prospect if promoted
COMMENT By Matt Farr
Should Leeds be promoted to the Premier League, Garry Monk will be looking to make the desired changes to his squad to aid their chances of survival.
The recruitment of a new defender or two will likely be part of the Leeds summer upheaval, and although he is not an experienced Premier League performer, Monk should consider a move for Nathan Ake.
Ake has had a very impressive campaign this term, spending the first half of the season on loan at Bournemouth before being recalled to his parent club, Chelsea.
The 22-year-old showed tremendous fight for a Bournemouth side facing a battle against relegation, earning key player status, and Leeds could do with that sort of determination for their own pending scrap.
He also chipped in with valuable goals, netting three times from his 10 Premier League appearances, including a memorable last-gasp winner against Liverpool in December.
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Leeds could benefit from a move for Ake in several areas, with the versatile young defender adept at playing in all areas of the back four.
Left-back Charlie Taylor is out of contract at the end of the season, leaving a potential vacancy next season, while centre-back Kyle Bartley is expected to return to Swansea at the end of his loan spell.
Meanwhile, Ake could also add valuable depth to Monk’s defensive options, with his resources strained earlier in the season through a series of injury concerns and suspensions.
His pace and energy means he can also play in midfield, which could be a useful asset should Monk see fit to tinker with his tactical options.
Monk has shepherded his side into a position this season where there is a strong winning mentality within the Elland Road ranks, and Ake would fit in seamlessly with the level of ambition Leeds are now threatening to achieve.
He made such a lasting impression at Bournemouth this season that he earned a recall to the Chelsea first team in the new year, but he has since seen his opportunities severely limited.
With Ake restricted to only two appearances in the FA Cup, another temporary switch could be of great benefit to him, and Leeds would be a prime candidate.
In other Leeds transfer news, these three brilliant Villarreal players may have been on the agenda after reported Leeds scouting mission.