Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has suggested that Nathan Ake is capable of standing in for David Luiz if the latter has to spend time on the sidelines.
The Brazilian limped out of his side’s 3-0 win at Everton on Sunday but Ake, who spent the first half of the season at Bournemouth, came on for the last eight minutes and helped the Blues see out the game.
Conte is hopeful that Luiz will not miss any games but believes that Ake, who was making his first league appearance for the Stamford Bridge side this season, would be more than able to fill in for the 30-year-old.
“I didn’t speak with the doctor about [Luiz’s] injury but I don’t think it is a serious injury for him,” the Italian coach told Sky Sports News. “I hope in the next game that Luiz is available to play. Also now in this part of the season it is important sometimes to try to play if you are not 100% with your condition.
“He is showing us great commitment in this season. Don’t forget his injury in the knee after the game against City – but I am very pleased for the impact of Ake in [the Everton] game. He came on and I think he looks a veteran and it is great.
“He is only a young player that started to play for two years, Watford and Bournemouth, and now is showing great commitment, work-rate, concentration when I ask him to play. It is great for him.”
Chelsea’s next outing is a home league game with Middlesbrough on May 8.