Antonio Conte has confirmed he recalled Nathan Ake from his loan spell at Bournemouth because the defender’s versatility will give Chelsea different options as the second half of the season continues to get underway.
Chelsea confirmed on Sunday that Ake, who sealed a season-long loan move to the Cherries last summer, will return to the club immediately.
The 21-year-old has impressed while with Eddie Howe’s side this term, scoring three goals for Bournemouth – including a 93rd-minute winner against Liverpool in December – and playing every single minute of the club’s last eight Premier League games.
Such has been his solid form that Conte admitted after Chelsea’s 4-1 win over Peterborough on Sunday that Ake’s ability to play in his three-man defence, in midfield and possibly as a left wing-back will ease the pressure on some of the players such as Marcos Alonso, who have been heavily relied upon thus far.
“I recalled him because I think he is showing a great level,” Conte said.
“He played the entire season for Watford [last season] and he’s showed he deserves to stay at Chelsea.
“Ake gives me an important option because we are playing with three central defenders and he can play outside them on the left, he can play in the middle and he can play as a wing-back.
“We want to bring back Ake because he gives me good opportunities and solutions.”
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