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Virgil Van Dijk Identifies Man City Star as ‘Underrated’

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has heaped praise on Manchester City man Nathan Ake in a recent interview.

The 30-year-old has established himself as one of the best centre-halves in the world since his £75 million move from Southampton to Liverpool in 2018.

The Dutch star, who was linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium prior to his switch to Merseyside, has been featuring for his country alongside Nathan Ake, who joined City from Bournemouth for £40 million in 2020.

Ake has largely been used as a squad player at City, with Pep Guardiola sticking to the likes of Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte and John Stones in central defence over the past 12 months.

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Speaking to Sky Sports in a recent interview, van Dijk was asked to name whom he thinks are the best defenders in the world, as the ex-Celtic man lauded the likes of Sergio Ramos, Thiago Silva and Gerard Pique.

However, the Netherlands star went on to mention Ake, who has only made 17 appearances across all competitions for City. "Nathan Ake, underrated," said van Dijk, ahead of his side's 2-2 draw with City on Sunday.

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The Breda-born star also paid tribute to Aymeric Laporte, stating that the Spain international enjoyed a good season during the 2018/19 campaign.

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With four years left on his current deal at City, Ake is yet to hit the heights he reached during his time at the Vitality Stadium, where he spent three seasons after a season-long loan from Chelsea during the 2016/17 campaign.

His ability to play as a central midfielder and a left-back could come in handy in his bid to get more minutes under his belt as it could prove to be difficult for Ake to climb up the pecking order in central defence.

City's charge for all competitions they're involved in could mean more action for Ake over the course of the season after featuring in his side's clashes against Tottenham and Leicester City in August.

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