Juventus Transfers: Everything you need to know about new arrival Marley Ake

Juventus, Marley Ake (Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Juventus, Marley Ake (Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Marley Ake is a Juventus player! The Marseille youngster arrives in Turin as part of a swap deal which sees Franco Tongya move in the opposite direction.

The Bianconeri announced the arrival of Ake on Thursday afternoon, with the 20-year-old winger joining the club on a five-year deal.

The Frenchman underwent a medical on Wednesday before putting pen to paper on a Juve contract. 18-year-old Franco Tongya will head to Marseille in exchange for Ake. Tongya – an Italy youth international – had appeared 27 times for the Primavera side, making six goal contributions.

Now, let’s be honest, this isn’t a deal that will get Juventini even a tad excited, I’m sure the only Ake the majority of you thought existed was Manchester City’s Nathan. But no, there’s a Marley too – and no, they’re not related.

Anyway, Juve’s new signing deserves an introduction, and thus, here’s everything you need to know about the player.

Beziers Upbringing

With his Wikipedia page barely boasting 50 words, it’s fair to say that Ake is the epitome of an unknown commodity.

However, what we do know is that the 20-year-old was born in Beziers, France and, in fact, joined Marseille from local club AS Beziers in 2018.

Eligible national teams

Despite being born in France and representing the country at an Under-19 level in 2019 – earning just one cap – Ake is eligible to play for the Ivory Coast at a senior level.

On the fringes at Marseille

It took just a year for Ake to emerge into Andre Villas-Boas’ first team at Marseille following his arrival. In September 2019, the Frenchman made his debut as a late substitute in a 1-1 draw with Rennes. He’d go on to make a further eight appearances in Ligue 1 during the 2019/20 season, racking up a mere 90 minutes of action.

The 2020/21 campaign has been a similar story for the youngster: nine league appearances, 137 minutes. Perhaps the highlight of Ake’s senior career thus far was appearing in Marseille’s Champions League bout with Manchester City – who cares that it was for only 15 minutes – at the Etihad last December.

Starred in Marseille’s reserves

Before he developed into the Marseille first team, the Frenchman had starred for the club’s reserve side. In 37 games in just over a season, Ake notched an impressive 14 goals and four assists.


Despite the limited action available of Ake online, it’s distinct that the 20-year-old is a confident dribbler. He’s capable of using both feet when attempting to beat a man one-v-one and often shows an impressive burst of speed to accelerate away from opponents.

It may be an incredibly small sample size, but Ake is averaging 4.38 dribble attempts and 2.5 successful dribbles per 90 minutes this term. However, he’s also being dispossessed 5.0 times per 90, highlighting that his technical security still needs some refinement.

The fact he’s yet to make a single goal contribution for Marseille and has notched a mere one shot-creating action in Ligue 1 this season shows that Ake perhaps isn’t having the desired impact off the bench for AVB. Overall, it’s clear the 20-year-old isn’t a superstar in the making, with sub-par decision-making in the final third and poor ball striking key factors in his unproductivity.

Nevertheless, his versatility will be valued in Turin. Ake’s proven himself to be adept on either wing and looks comfortable enough when occupying the central space. Transfermarkt notes the Frenchman playing as a left-winger – where he appears most effective – on 22 occasions, a striker eight times and just once on the right.

Next. Why Juventus must sign Houssem Aouar. dark

Joining the Under-23’s for Juventus

Ake isn’t of the requisite level to be apart of the Juventus first team, thus, he’s expected to join up with the Under-23’s. The reserve side, coached by former Serie A journeyman Lamberto Zauli, host Giana Erminio on Sunday night, and, barring any late hitches, the Frenchman should be in line to make his debut.

Zauli will be hoping that Ake rediscovers the form on display during his time with Marseille’s reserves.