Chelsea have today announced that they have recalled Nathan Ake from his loan spell with fellow Premier League side, Bournemouth.
The 21-year-old has been with the Cherries since the start of the season and has impressed under Eddie Howe, making 12 appearances and scoring three goals, including a last-minute winner against Liverpool.
Ake returns to Chelsea
Now the Dutchman will return to his parent club and begin to work under Antonio Conte as he will be attempting to work his way into the Chelsea squad. Whilst the reason for his recall is unknown at this point, his versatility can provide several options for Conte with his ability to play around the defense and in midfield. When asked about potentially losing Ake, Eddie Howe admitted it would be a "big loss" to his side, going on to say he has "done so well" during his time at the club so far.
Ake was not featured in Bournemouth's FA Cup defeat at the weekend which will make him available to Conte for the rest of the competition which is a further boost to Chelsea. Conte has proven that he is willing to feature the club's young talent with the likes of Nathaniel Chalobah and Ruben Loftus-Cheek both being given opportunities throughout the season and Ake could also benefit from those chances too.
Versatility is key
With Victor Moses set to leave Chelsea for the African Cup of Nations bringing Ake back could be a tactical decision on behalf of the Chelsea boss as Ake has the ability to fill that role with his skills at both defending and playing in a midfield role and the wing-back area would potentially be a perfect blend of the two for him.
As John Obi-Mikel has also left the Blues during the transfer market after a 10-year stint with the club the door has opened up for a defensive midfielder to fill and this is another area that Ake could fill.