London - Nathan
Ake is looking forward to the challenge of forcing his way into the
Chelsea team and thanked Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe for playing an
important role in his development.
The 21-year-old defender was recalled early from his loan spell with
the Cherries by Blues boss Antonio Conte after impressing the Italian
over the past few months.
Having joined Chelsea's youth set-up in 2011 from Feyenoord, Ake made
12 appearances for the first team across three seasons, as he spent
much of his time there out on loan at Reading, Watford and then
He spent the early part of the season watching from the sidelines
before forcing his way into Howe's plans, playing 12 games and scoring
three goals including a winner against Liverpool in the 4-3 win in
Speaking to Bournemouth's official club website, the Dutchman said:
"Over the six months I feel I have developed as a player, both on and
off the pitch.
"To start with I wasn't playing too much, but I dealt with that mentally, kept going and was happy when I got my chance.
"I was able to learn a lot from the [Bournemouth] manager [Eddie
Howe]. He spoke to me a lot about how I could improve and I picked up a
lot of little ideas and different ways of thinking.
"Of course the Liverpool game was the standout moment. It was a crazy
game and to score the winning goal was an amazing feeling. It's
something that I'll remember for the longest time."
He added: "That was not the only good memory. We also had some other
good games where we kept clean sheets which were great and other games
which I will remember for the wrong reasons."
Ake will now be looking to provide competition for left-back Marcos Alonso in the Chelsea starting line-up and will be hoping to be involved when the Blues face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.
Kick off is scheduled for 19:30.(SA Time)