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'Ake has so much potential' - Van Dijk vows to help Netherlands team-mate

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has praised 'great guy' Nathan Ake and wants to help his Netherlands international team-mate to fulfil his potential.

Ake has played in every Premier League game for Bournemouth this season and his impressive performances have seen him become established in the Dutch squad.

He featured alongside Van Dijk in the 3-0 friendly win over Portugal last month and the Netherlands captain views Ake as a potential long-term partner at centre-back.

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"As captain of Holland, I hope for him to grow as a player and as a human being," Van Dijk, whose Liverpool side beat Bournemouth 3-0 last weekend, told the Daily Echo.

"I hope he can achieve as much as possible and, when we are with the national team, I can help him as well. He is doing very well and has so much potential.

"Nathan is a great player and a great guy and I like him a lot.

"It is difficult to play against our attack but I know how good he can be. He is still young and can learn a lot."

Although the scoreline would suggest a poor performance from the Bournemouth defence, manager Eddie Howe was happy with Ake's display in the 3-0 loss at Anfield.

“Nathan Ake and Steve Cook had a really good mentality and attitude against strong opposition," said Howe.

“In tough situations against very, very good players they did well in their one v one duels”.

“Nathan can consider himself really unlucky to be on the end of that scoreline. Both players did well.”

Ake signed for Bournemouth for a club record £20 million from Chelsea after a successful loan spell in the 2016-17 season.

The Dutchman has performed well this year prompting questions as to whether Chelsea will activate their buy-back clause on the 23-year-old.