Antonio Conte has revealed that he opted to bring Nathan Ake back to Chelsea from his loan spell with Bournemouth early because he feels that youngster has a role to play in the Blues’ squad.
Ake has earned plenty of praise for his performances for the Cherries this season after being sent out on loan to Eddie Howe’s side in the first half of the campaign.
The 21-year-old defender was a regular fixture in the Bournemouth team and made 10 Premier League appearances for the club, scoring three goals in the process.
His performances for Bournemouth clearly did not go unnoticed at Stamford Bridge, as Conte opted to bring the Dutchman back to Chelsea early.
And speaking after Chelsea’s 4-1 FA Cup win over Peterborough on Sunday afternoon, Conte explained his reasons for bringing Ake back to the club.
Conte told his post-match news conference: “I called him back because I think he’s showing that he’s ready to stay in the squad of Chelsea. Chelsea is his home.
“In the last season he played with Watford, and this season he was with Bournemouth. He’s shown he deserves to stay at a great team like Chelsea. I’m pleased he’s come back.
“Ake gives me an important option because we are playing with three central defenders. He can play on the left and in the middle. It’s important to see in training sessions if he can also play wing-back.”
Fernando Llorente Wants To Join Antonio Conte At Chelsea – But On One Condition
Fernando Llorente reportedly is ready to complete a transfer to Chelsea as long as he is promised one thing by Antonio Conte.
It’s understood the Blues are considering either a permanent or loan move for the 31-year-old Swansea City striker who Conte is an avid admirer of from his time at Juventus.
The Telegraph suggest Llorente is keen on a switch to Chelsea as long as the Italian manager is able to guarantee that he’s only behind Diego Costa in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.
Such a move is likely to see summer signing Michy Batshuayi go out on loan after the forward’s disappointing start to life with the Premier League giants.
Swansea have expressed an interest in Batshuayi but the 23-year-old would prefer to remain in London and join up with West Ham for the remainder of the campaign.
Ahead of the January transfer window, Conte admitted: ‘It’s important to talk with my club for sure.
‘There are some positions that, if we are able to find a resolution, it’s important to take a good solution. It wont be easy but, for sure, we are talking about this.’
Kurt Zouma discusses Chelsea’s chances of winning the double this season
KURT ZOUMA believes Chelsea’s squad is strong enough to battle for the FA Cup and Premier League this season.
Chelsea currently sit five points clear of Liverpool in the league and have been drawn at home against Brentford in the FA Cup fourth round.
Antonio Conte has not had to contend with European football this season meaning Chelsea have rarely had to play twice in the same week.
Despite making several changes for their FA Cup third round tie with Peterborough on Sunday, Conte’s side won 4-1 comfortably.
And Zouma, making his return after 11 months out, believes the manner of the win over Peterborough is proof that Chelsea can compete on both fronts.
“We have the team to do it. We want to win this cup. It’s one of our targets,” Zouma told Chelsea TV.
“It was really good for everybody who played, to show that we are still here and want to play also.
“We have a very good squad – that’s why the manager can make changes. Everybody is doing a great job.”
Conte recalled Nathan Ake from his loan at Bournemouth at the weekend meaning competition for a place in the starting XI will be even tougher at Stamford Bridge – but Zouma is determined to earn his spot.
“I’m ready to compete with the others,” Zouma added.