Benitez's Newcastle can be Watford's biggest threat to sign Nathan Ake

Benitez Tour 2

After giving Nathan Ake his chance at Chelsea, could Rafa Benitez try to beat Watford to the youngster's signature?

Dutch talent Nathan Ake has played an important role for Watford this season, impressing on a season long loan from Chelsea.

Ake, 21, has shown himself to be versatile at left-back and centre-back, and is making the most of his opportunity to get an extended run in the Premier League.

The Mail report he is keen to prove himself at Chelsea despite Watford's desire to sign him on a permanent basis, but could there be a third team who complicate matters?

The appointment of Rafa Benitez at Newcastle United is an intriguing one for many reasons, and Ake could be on his radar if the Spaniard keeps them afloat.

Ake is a player well known to Benitez, with the manager giving him his breakthrough chance during his spell as interim boss at Chelsea.

Ake played a starring role as Chelsea won the Europa League, starting in a quarter-final tie against Rubin Kazan, and appearing as a substitute in the final, featuring at times in midfield as well as defence.

It remains a surprise, and a failure on Chelsea's part since then, that he has not made the step up to the first team.

Speaking to the BBC after the FA Cup win against Middlesbrough in 2013 in which Ake made his debut, Benitez said: "I was really pleased with Nathan Ake and really pleased with Paulo Ferreira because they showed they are good players and fantastic professionals."

Ake is exactly the type of player Newcastle should be looking to sign, young, ambitious, versatile and talented, and could flourish under Benitez.

They will have to survive in the Premier League if Benitez is to stick around, and for the club to stand a chance of signing Ake, but if they can then he is a potentially very interesting signing for the Magpies.

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