CHERRIES manager Eddie Howe has described as “a model of consistency” defender Nathan Ake’s performances.

A club record £20million summer signing from Chelsea, the Dutchman has featured in every Premier League game for Cherries this season.

Ake, who today celebrated his 23rd birthday, has started all but one fixture in the top flight – his only substitute appearance coming during the second half of Cherries’ 2-2 draw at Brighton on New Year’s Day.

Howe, whose squad had a warm-weather training camp in Portugal at the end of last week, told the Daily Echo: “I think Nathan has been a model of consistency. He is a great character with a great temperament.

“He trains very well every day and has the mentality to want to be at his best, whether it is a five-a-side or a training drill.

“I think you have then seen that come out on the pitch. He has been excellent for us and I am delighted with his contribution.”

Ake, a leading contender for the club's annual player-of-the-year awards, tops the list of Cherries players for headed clearances – with 99 coming from 27 league games.

The centre-half, who enjoyed a fruitful loan spell with Cherries last season, has scored twice in his past eight games in the Premier League.

He netted in the 3-3 draw against West Ham at Vitality Stadium on Boxing Day before also going on to score at former club Chelsea in Cherries' memorable 3-0 win last month.

Ake will be hoping to feature for the Netherlands when they face England in a friendly next month. Gareth Southgate's squad travel to Amsterdam to take on the Dutch at the Johan Cruyff Arena on Friday, March 23.