CHERRIES boss Eddie Howe is hoping Nathan Ake will prove a shrewd buy over the coming years.

Defender Ake made a £20million move from Chelsea in the summer following a successful loan spell at the Dorset club last season.

The Dutch international, signed for a club-record fee, has played all but 67 minutes of the Premier League campaign.

He has scooped Cherries' player-of-the-month award five times, Callum Wilson and Jordon Ibe being the only other winners.

Asked how good a buy the 23-year-old could prove, Howe said: "Hopefully, a very good one. Nathan is an excellent player and very versatile.

"He has played centre-half for the majority of the season but can play in other positions. He is young and has a great attitude so there is a lot to like about Nathan."

Quizzed on whether the fee could be a snip, Howe added: "It's a difficult one because for us, that fee is new ground – we have never paid that money before.

"It was done with careful consideration knowing the person we were recruiting as much as the player."