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Ake promoted to the first team

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Scott Heavey

In the wake of Ryan Bertrand's loan to Aston Villa, there've been plenty of questions about Chelsea's depth at fullback. Bertrand's absence meant that Chelsea are now down to three senior players -- Ashley Cole, Cesar Azpilicueta and Branislav Ivanovic -- to cover two positions, which is dangerously light for a squad that will (hopefully) be playing a lot of matches between now and the end of the season.

Jose Mourinho is compensating for this by promoting another youngster. Nathan Ake, who saw some time with the first team as a defensive midfielder last season, is being brought into the senior squad to serve as cover:

Because Bertrand is leaving I'm bringing Ake now to the squad because he is a player that can play there, and even in an emergency David Luiz or Branislav Ivanovic can play left-back. So even though only Ashley Cole is a specialist left-back we don't have problems.

-Source: ChelseaFC.com

It's not a bad idea by any measure, although Ake's performance at left back is obviously a step below what we might ahve expected from Bertrand. Ake actually playing there would require an unfortunate set of circumstances, so we're hopefully not going to see it happening, but we now have backup just in case -- and Ake will once again be developing by training with the big boys.