July 24, 2021

‘Guardiola doesn’t fancy Stones & will make Ake better’ – Mills expects Man City to find value in £40m deal

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The former Blues defender believes a big-money addition will thrive at the Etihad Stadium, with others being knocked down the pecking order

Pep Guardiola “clearly doesn’t fancy John Stones” and will take Nathan Ake’s game to even greater heights after investing £40 million ($53m) in a new centre-half at Manchester City, says Danny Mills.

The Blues were expected to bolster their defensive options during the summer transfer window.

Having opted against finding a replacement for Vincent Kompany in the wake of the Belgian’s departure in 2019, those at the Etihad Stadium struggled for consistency at the heart of their back four.

Aymeric Laporte has proved to be a shrewd addition, but Stones and Nicolas Otamendi have failed to convince.

That has led to Brazilian holding midfielder Fernandinho being asked to fill an unnatural position on a regular basis.

The South American has fared admirably, but a long-term solution to an obvious issue was always going to be required.

Ake is the answer in the eyes of Guardiola, with the Netherlands international having been snapped up from Bournemouth in the wake of the Cherries’ relegation out of the Premier League.

Mills believes value for money will be found in the versatile 25-year-old, with City’s highly-rated coach boasting an impressive track record when it comes to improving those he invests considerable faith and funds in.

“He clearly doesn’t fancy John Stones, Otamendi at times, and he can’t keep on playing Fernandinho out of position,” former City full-back Mills told talkSPORT.

“You have to remember he has had a good schooling as well, he was at Chelsea and then he had a few loan deals.

“At the time he probably left Chelsea because they had some very good defenders and he didn’t see a pathway of getting through and breaking into their team.

“He went out on loan and obviously left for Bournemouth on a permanent deal.

“He’s a good player. He can play, but he can also defend. Then you have to think, what has Guardiola done with the majority of signings that he’s had? He has improved them.”

Ake spent six years on the books at Chelsea before linking up with Bournemouth on a permanent basis in 2017 and is now a seasoned Premier League and international performer.