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If you were wondering why on earth Nathan Ake would choose bottom-of-the-table Newcastle over Champions League-chasing West Ham United, then we’ve got two words for you; Eddie Howe. 

It was Steve Bruce’s successor who gave Ake his big break in the Premier League after all, making the Dutchman one of the first names on his Bournemouth team-sheet and paving the way for an eventual £40 million move to Manchester City. 

“He is a bit different to the other managers I’ve had,” Ake said back in 2016, after swapping Chelsea for The Cherries. “He works more in training. He always likes to work at 100 per cent, work the players hard. 

What Has Gone RIGHT At West Ham United?

What Has Gone RIGHT At West Ham United?

“He does things tactically very well. I really like him as a manager. He’s a good manager and a good coach. He tries to help and improve the players.” 

Lewis Cook, who earned an England call-up under Howe at Bournemouth, would surely agree with Ake’s assessment.

As would Harry Arter, Steve Cook, Adam Smith, Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser, the little Scottish winger who contributed a staggering 14 assists during the 2018/19 season – only Eden Hazard managed more. 

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Can Eddie Howe lure Nathan Ake to Newcastle United?

And while David Moyes can boast an equally impressive track record when it comes to helping players realise their potential on the Premier League stage – just look at the way Jarrod Bowen, Pablo Fornals and Ben Johnson have developed in recent months – Newcastle’s cherub-cheeked gaffer could be the ace up their sleeve as the Magpies look to reunite Ake with a familiar face on the banks of the Tyne (90Min).

Winless in 14 games and having conceded more goals than any other team in the division (30, two more than Norwich City), few will be surprised to learn that a commanding central defender is one of Newcastle’s top targets heading into the January transfer window. 

With Ake in their sights, Howe’s contact book could be as important as those Saudi Arabian petrodollars to Newcastle United. 

Photo by Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

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