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Bournemouth break the bank to land Ake

Hughes can be a success at Hornets

Nathan Ake applauds Bournemouth supporters
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Nathan Ake Chelsea to Bournemouth, £20m 

Nathan Ake is an improving young footballer and has taken the brave decision of leaving Chelsea in search of more regular football.

He clearly made a positive impression during a 12-match loan spell at Bournemouth last term because the south-coast club have forked out a club-record fee for his services.

The Dutch international is versatile enough to play at left-back, centre-back or in a holding midfield role and was also well regarded by Watford, where he spent a season-long loan in 2015-16.

However, there are still doubts over his best position. At full-back he is better defensively than going forward and his frame is rather slight to play in the heart of the defence.

Ake has improved year-on-year but Bournemouth are not exactly getting him on the cheap.

Verdict
Expensive but likely to improve.


Jermain Defoe Sunderland to Bournemouth, free

Jermain Defoe will be 35 in October but he has no intention of winding down after signing a three-year-deal with Bournemouth.

Last season was fantastic from a personal perspective for Defoe, who notched 15 Premier League goals and earned a recall to the England team.

But he was unable to prevent a poor Sunderland side from finishing bottom of the table.

Conventional wisdom suggests that Defoe would do even better in a stronger team and he will not lack motivation in a campaign which precedes a World Cup summer.

However, there will come a time when Defoe loses the half a yard of pace which gets him away from defenders and his arrival may unsettle Josh King, who netted 16 league goals last term and enjoyed playing off physical forward Benik Afobe.

Verdict
A better deal for the player than the club.


Will Hughes Derby to Watford, £8m

Will Hughes went off the boil in his last season for Derby but his move to Watford can help to get his career back on track.

Once rated one of the most talented midfielders in English football, Hughes was reportedly on the radar of some of the biggest clubs in the country.

However, a serious knee injury restricted him to just six league appearances in 2015-16 and he was not seen at his best last term as part of a Derby side who failed to live up to lofty expectations.

Hughes remained a part of the England Under-21 setup – earning 17 caps – and showed his class with a superb assist for Tammy Abraham's goal during Tuesday's semi-final against Germany at the European Under-21 Championship.

His close control and eye for a pass are skills which will be well-suited to the top flight and at 22 he has plenty of time to realise the huge promise of his teenage years.

Verdict
A good move for both parties.


Bradley Dack Gillingham to Blackburn, £750,000

Blackburn have had a miserable few years but the signing of Bradley Dack – one of Sky Bet League One's most sought-after midfielders – is a demonstration of their determination to get back to the Championship at the first attempt.

Dack went off the boil last term as the Gills flirted with relegation. But he was their star man the season before, scoring 13 league goals, and can get back to his best under Rovers boss Tony Mowbray, who loves his teams to play enterprising, attacking football.

A year ago Dack was on the radar of second-tier clubs. Now he has the chance to move up a division by playing a major part in a Rovers' revival.

Verdict
An excellent signing.


Matt Green Mansfield to Lincoln, free

Experienced gaffer Steve Evans has been doing a great job of upgrading the Mansfield squad but he may regret his decision to let Matt Green leave on a free to their newly-promoted Sky Bet League Two rivals Lincoln.

Green was once a prolific scorer in the fifth tier and has been effective in the last two seasons with the Stags, scoring 16 league goals in 2015-16 and ten last season.

He is a pacy, physical striker and should be ideally suited to the direct style of play favoured by Lincoln manager Danny Cowley.

Lincoln are aiming for another bold promotion bid and Green's arrival will help them compete with the likes of Mansfield, who are also expected to contend at the top.

Verdict
The grass may be greener for Matt.

Last season was fantastic from a personal perspective for Defoe, who notched 15 Premier League goals and earned a recall to the England team